Department of Education elections impacted by error - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Harris County Department of Education elections impacted by district error

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Was it a major foul up that will leave politicians and Harris County voters angry?

The district lines for the Harris County Department of Education were not updated for the 2012 primary election, FOX 26 News has learned; that means thousands of people who voted in the district should not have while others were excluded.  

The standing election results has left former Houston city councilmember Jarvis Johnson hot as he is now in a runoff election for the Position 6 race at the department of education, which takes place in two weeks.  

Johnson said he believes he would have won outright against his closest contender, Erica Lee, if the lines were correct.

"Based on the numbers that Don Sumners was showing, based on the trend that was taking place in the race, it clearly demonstrates where I was able to win more than 50 percent of the votes," said Johnson during an interview Tuesday on FOX 26 Morning News.

Johnson also said he should be declared the winner of the election because he contends that if the county does nothing and lets the runoff election pro cede, someone could file a lawsuit.

"Not only is the potential for me to do so, but I think any voter out there would do so," said Johnson. " They'd say, 'Now wait a minute. You took away my option to vote in a Harris County precinct that I live in,' and so that in itself would open the door for anybody to file a lawsuit."

So who is at fault for what this major foul up? 

Harris County Tax Assessor Don Sumners sent out a letter obtained by FOX 26. It says the Harris County Department of Education failed to provide the tax office with the required changes in the district lines for the election. Sumner, in that letter, also said the Position 4 Republican primary race was also impacted by the error.However, he says that race was not close enough to change the outcome. 

So how many people may have been disenfranchised as a result of this issue? In the Position 4 race, FOX 26 is told at least 1,500 voters, while in the Position 6 race, more than 2,200 people.

A representative for Erica Lee told FOX 26 that Lee was notified of the error by the county too, but she is waiting to learn what the county decides to do about it before she responds.

Both Harris County and the Harris County Board of Education have meetings on the matter Tuesday.

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