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Counting Votes in Harris County

Why does it take so long to count the votes in Harris County?

Wondering why counting votes take so long in Harris County? Our friends at KHOU have an explanation for us. 

First, Texas law forbids voting results from being electronically transmitted. That means votes are driven from every polling site to a central counting center at NRG Park.

Clifford Tatum, the new Harris County Elections Administrator, added more than 330 new polling locations for Election Day 2022. That’s a total of 782 polling locations. Harris County is roughly 1,800 square miles or the size of Rhode Island. Collecting votes from an area the size of Rhode Island will take some time. 

The furthest polling location in Harris County is Schultze Junior High School in Waller, some 47.2 miles away. Depending on traffic, it could take as much as an hour for those votes to arrive at NRG Park. 

Second, even though the polls close at 7 p.m., that doesn’t mean the voting stops. Anyone in line at 7 p.m. gets to vote. Depending on the lines, that could add an hour or more to the process. 

Third, there’s some paperwork to do at the end of the day. Each polling location has to close shop after the last voter and reconcile paperwork. That takes about an hour. 

And fourth, once the votes arrive at NRG Park, clerks will have to identify and verify all the equipment. Each piece of equipment is scanned in by bar code and then goes to a receiving area for more verification, certification, and tabulation. (Translation: more time.) Tabulation will take around six hours. Or more. 

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