The highly contested election bill that was signed into law in June will stand without further contention after the Texas Supreme Court issued its decision on Aug. 22, effectively denying Harris County’s emergency motion to block Senate Bill 1750.

Election responsibilities will no longer be under the discretion of the Harris County elections administrator since SB 1750 eliminates the elections administrator’s office, instead turning oversight to the county tax assessor-collector and county clerk’s office starting Sept. 1.

The details

Voter registrar duties will go to the tax assessor’s office, and the election administration duties will fall under the county clerk’s office, according to officials. With early voting set to start for Harris County on Oct. 23, Harris County Clerk Teneshia Hudspeth said in a news release that as an experienced, former election official, she's confident Harris County will administer well-organized, transparent and fair elections.

"There is no magic formula to remedy what has gone awry in the last three years since the conduct of elections was removed from the County Clerk’s Office. There is only plenty of work ahead for all of us and a great commitment on my part to enable all eligible voters the opportunity to exercise their right to vote," Hudspeth said.

Those opposed

Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee said in a news release that the Legislature is illegally targeting Harris County.

“By setting the law to go into effect Sept. 1, and not passing a single law to assist in the transition or provide additional funding, Republican legislators are making the job of running this November’s election much more difficult,” Menefee said. “It was on the Texas Supreme Court to rein in these bad-faith lawmakers. The court failed Harris County residents.”

Those in favor

Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, wrote the legislation for SB 1750 and said he supports the Supreme Court’s decision.

“This bill has always been about performance not politics. I commend the Texas Supreme Court on their decision to restore voter trust, accountability and transparency in Harris County elections,” Bettencourt said in a news release.

Going forward

Menefee said in a news release that he will discuss the ruling at the upcoming Harris County Commissioners Court meeting on Aug. 29 “so that [commissioners] can decide how best to proceed.”