Local GOP Attempt to Recruit, Pay for Partisan Election Response Team ‘Outrageous and Disturbing, Says HCDP Chair
Steven Hotze-Funded Scheme ‘Would Actually Sow Distrust’’
Houston — Harris County Democratic Party Chair Odus Evbagharu today called out an “ironic trend by local Republicans,” who continue to argue the need to ensure election integrity while “taking steps that would actually sow distrust.”
Evbagharu’s comments are in response to a Harris County GOP email sent earlier this week calling for paid Republican poll watchers and “rapid response team” members whose tasks include picking up replacement voting equipment to deliver to polling locations throughout the county.
“This GOP-funded effort is both outrageous and disturbing,” Evbagharu said.
“Republicans are breaking the rules their own party wrote under the guise of ensuring election integrity. Their effort will actually sow doubt about our election.
“Already we’ve seen the GOP weaponize the role of poll watcher. Now they are expanding their efforts. County Republicans are attempting to recruit and pay workers to act as partisan mercenaries during elections.
“This GOP recruitment call sparks concern on many levels,” said Evbagharu. “We are concerned about the ability to vote without intimidation, we are concerned about privacy, we are concerned about racial justice.
“A GOP-funded program to take matters into their own hands with voting equipment is like the Steven Hotze-funded scheme that recently got an air conditioning repairman assaulted and held at gunpoint,” said Evbagharu, referring to GOP megadonor Steven Hotze’s bizarre search in 2020 for fraudulent mail ballots that did not exist.
Hotze was indicted on two felony counts of fraud for his involvement.
“Speaking of Hotze, is he part of ‘the amazing base of donors’ whose ‘generosity’ is paying for HCRP to ‘hire and place 100 poll watchers in this runoff election?’ Evbagharu asked.
“We have to call out this latest GOP stunt because it raises so many questions and concerns. The Elections Administrator’s Office should file a cease and desist order for HCRP to immediately dismantle the program before it causes more harm to our election system.”
For Immediate Release
May 19, 2022
Contact: Elisa Rochford