Editor's note: This article has been updated to include the district attorney's office's citation of Sec. 273.001 of the Texas Election Code.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg has requested assistance from the Texas Rangers to investigate allegations of irregularities in the midterm elections.

In a Nov. 14 letter to the executive director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Ogg said her office had received a referral from the Texas Secretary of State’s office regarding issues that could potentially include criminal conduct and asked the investigative arm of the DPS for help.

“Free and fair elections are the bedrock of our democracy. When we get credible complaints of election irregularities, we are statutorily required to investigate,” Ogg said in an emailed statement Nov. 16, but did not cite the particular statute.

Under Sec. 273.001 of the Texas Election Code, Ogg’s office is required to conduct an investigation if it receives affidavits from two or more registered voters alleging criminal conduct. The district attorney’s office confirmed its investigation sprung from this part of the election code, but did not confirm the degree to which it would be involved in the Texas Rangers' investigation.

Representatives from the Texas Rangers could not be reached for comment by the time of publication.

Harris County under scrutiny

Gov. Greg Abbott said in a Nov. 14 statement in a news release that he was calling on the Texas Secretary of State’s office, the Texas Attorney General’s office and the Texas Rangers to investigate the county’s elections.

Sam Taylor, spokesperson for the Texas Secretary of State’s office, said his office received information during the week of the Nov. 8 election regarding “alleged improprieties” in the conduct of the election's administration. He said his office referred that information to the attorney general and Ogg, citing Sec. 31.006 of the Texas Election Code.

However, Sec. 31.006 provides only that the office refer the information to the attorney general, not to the district attorney; according to that section, the information is not considered to be public information until the investigation is complete.

The Texas Secretary of State's office sent election monitors to the county on Election Day, and information on the number of monitors as well as their reports is not yet available, according to Taylor.

On the same day as Abbott’s statement and Ogg’s letter, the Harris County Republican Party filed a lawsuit against Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum and Harris County itself.

In the lawsuit, the party claims Tatum disenfranchised tens of thousands of registered voters from casting a ballot through his management of the elections.

Tatum acknowledged issues with the elections during a Commissioners Court meeting Nov. 15, including polling locations that opened late and a need for a better communications system to relay Election Day problems and track whether those problems were resolved. His office is still in the process of assessing the election.