Harris County election officials announced March 5 that 10,000 ballots from the March 1 primary were not factored into the final count.
According to an announcement from Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria’s office, 6,000 Democratic ballots and 4,000 Republican ballots were missed between 1-4 a.m. following the closure of polls March 1. The votes were scanned into the elections computer but were not transferred and counted, Longoria’s office said.
“While we understand the seriousness of this error, the ability to identify and correct this issue is a result of a lengthy, rigorous process and is a positive example of the process ultimately working as it should,” Longoria’s office said in a statement.
Sam Taylor, a spokesperson for Secretary of State John Scott, said in an email to Community Impact Newspaper that the oversight was caught through a vote reconciliation form that every county must file as part of new Senate Bill 1 changes to Texas elections. The form, which is public on Harris County's election website, said the missed ballots accounted for a 2.8% difference in eligible ballots.
The county elections office is working with the secretary of state's office to identify the cause of the oversight. The missing votes will be added to the final count when the Harris County Central Count Committee meets March 8.
Harris County election officials previously reported lower mail-in ballot returns ahead of the March 1 primary as part of a statewide trend.