Texas judge rules against GOP lawsuit seeking to overturn 2022 election results

(Elizabeth Conley/Associated Press)

Texas judge rules against GOP lawsuit seeking to overturn 2022 election results


November 10, 2023

A judge in Texas has denied a Republican attempt to overturn election results in the nation’s third-most populous county, a Democratic stronghold beset by Republican Party efforts to dictate how ballots are cast.

A losing Republican candidate in a November judicial race had filed a lawsuit calling for new elections in Harris County, where Houston is located.


. Republican Erin Lunceford blamed her defeat on vote shortages and allegations that illegal votes were cast.

But visiting judge David Peeples ruled against her request for a new election on Thursday. His decision came months after a two-week trial in August in which no Republicans came forward to testify that they could not vote because of the problems.

The ruling is a blow to GOP leaders’ efforts in Harris County to overturn the November 2022 election results in 17 other local elections. It follows similar lawsuits that are becoming increasingly common across the country due to baseless conspiracy theories spread by the former president


Trump and his supporters claim the 2020 presidential election was stolen by President Biden’s supporters.

Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee, a Democrat, said in a statement that the county and voters have moved beyond the 2022 election.

I am glad that the judge has confirmed what we have known for a year now. These Republican candidates lost the 2022 election, Menefee said. I hope the Harris County Republican Party will go further as well.

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Elections have been closely watched for several years in Harris County, which has nearly 5 million residents, most of whom are Latino or Black.

Problems included long lines, polling place shortages and ballots not being counted on election day.

In the race at the center of the lawsuit, Lunceford ran to become a local judge but lost by more than 2,700 votes.

well more than

1 million cast. The lawsuit was the first filed over Harris County’s November 2022 election results to go to trial.

During the trial, Lunceford’s attorneys alleged that shortages of paper ballots targeted Republican voting locations. They also alleged other errors, including delayed opening of polls in some locations, improper scanning of ballots and inadequate reporting of forms voters fill out when there are questions about their whereabouts in the county, preventing people from voting or allowing illegal votes to be cast .

Attorneys for Tamika Craft, who won election as 189th District Court judge, argued that the lawsuit is part of the Harris County Republican Party’s master plan to challenge the election results even before the election was held. They said the lawsuit is less about elections and more about a partisan effort to disenfranchise thousands of voters.

Lawyers for Crafts argued that the Republican Party tried to have ballots thrown out because of simple errors in documents filled out by voters, including missing documents.


codes or addresses written in the wrong location.

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Under questioning by Crafts attorneys, one of Lunceford’s experts admitted to shoddy work and was wrong when he claimed some voters had voted illegally.

After the November 2022 election, 21 GOP candidates filed lawsuits challenging their losses. Three of them have now dropped their cases. A Republican candidate who lost his race to become a state lawmaker from the Houston area had a separate election challenge rejected by the speaker of the Texas House in January.

In addition to dismissing Lunceford’s lawsuit, Peeples also filed 15 similar lawsuits on Thursday, leaving just one lawsuit remaining.

Harris County has become a recurring target in recent years of new Texas voting rules and restrictions passed by Republican lawmakers.

In 2021, the Republican-controlled legislature passed laws banning driving

through through

and 24-hour mood. Both initiatives were championed by Harris County and credited with increasing turnout.

Earlier this year, the Legislature passed two election bills

only impact only influences

Harris County. One allows the state to take over the county’s elections if problems arise again, and the other eliminates the county’s top elections office.

Harris County, like much of the rest of Texas, tended to vote Republican. But over the past decade, demographic changes in the county have increasingly skewed toward younger residents and minorities, groups that tend to vote Democratic, said Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston. The states’ other major metropolitan areas, such as Dallas, El Paso and San Antonio, also vote Democratic.


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