Thursday night, former Republican candidate for Harris County Judge, Alexandra del Moral Mealer announced her decision to formally challenge the results of her 2022 loss to incumbent Lina Hidalgo – citing what she alleged were continued questions about possible voter suppression.
Mealer is the latest Harris County Republican defeated in the latest elections to demand a recount. Tami Pierce, defeated Republican candidate for 180th Criminal District Court also announced she was challenging the results. According to Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee, more challenges are expected today.
In effect, what these challengers are asking, Menefee wrote in a Friday statement, “are filing lawsuits to void more than 1 million votes cast in the Nov. 2022 election.
“And for another election to be held for the races being challenged.”
Menefee called the action “a shameful attempt by a group of losing candidates who couldn’t win the hearts and minds of Harris County voters and are now throwing nonsensical legal theories at the wall to see what sticks. Each of them should be deeply embarrassed and these claims should not be taken seriously by the public.”
After careful review and analysis of the facts available, I have decided to file an election contest.— Alexandra del Moral Mealer (@alexmealer) January 6, 2023
Every Harris County voter should be deeply concerned about voter suppression and welcome full transparency to ensure free and fair elections. pic.twitter.com/VIwEkVpBEi
In Mealer’s tweet, she cited her decision to contest these results as a response to the post-election assessment submitted by Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum, in which he cited needs for upgrades and replacements to the Harris County election system after there were delayed openings and paper ballot shortages at some locations – among other problems.
Mealer wrote, “It’s inexcusable that after two months, the public is no further along in knowing if, and to what extent, votes were suppressed.”
In this assessment, results of the were inconclusive, because Tatum did not have an adequate tracking system to determine how many voting sites had these issues or turned voters away.
Mealer’s announcement to contest these results comes a day after Hidalgo announced she would be taking a short personal leave for a family matter starting next week.
In regard to the date of Mealer’s announcement in relation to Hidalgo’s, Menefee said, “there seems to be a reason she waited until January 6.”
When the Houston Press reached out for a statement from Hidalgo’s Office about the election contest, the office referred the Press to Menefee’s Office’s statement.