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GOP bill to abolish Harris County elections administrator office

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A bill is headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk that would abolish the elections administrator’s office in Harris County. SB 1750 would require counties with a population of over 3.5 million – in other words, Harris County alone — to get rid of the administrator’s office, reverting its responsibilities to the elected county clerk and tax assessor-collector. State Senator Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, the author of the bill, previously told Houston Public Media the legislation was needed due to recurring difficulties the county has experienced since creating the office of elections administrator in 2020. Harris County leaders tried to stop the bills and one of them said that they aren’t done fighting. Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee said in a statement that leaders are evaluating legal options and could reveal plans for a legal fight later this week. “Republican legislators are again targeting Harris County, singling us out to score cheap political points. This sets a dangerous precedent, and we all know the legislators in Austin won’t stop here,” he said. If the bill becomes law and survives potential legal challenges, current administrator Clifford Tatum would have until Sept. 1, 2023 to hand off his duties to the county clerk and...