The Texas Elections Director Keith Ingram is taking shots at Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman (a Democrat).
The election results on Tuesday were as slow as anyone in Southeast Texas can remember. Slower than molasses on a cold winter day.
Almost 12 hours after the polls were supposed to close only 23% of the vote was reported.
As all of this was happening the Harris County Clerk’s Office went into a six plus hour blackout. During this time they provided no updates which had a lot of people scratching their heads in confusion.
Local politicians stayed away through the night waiting for more complete election results data but no such information was ever reported.
On Wednesday morning Trautman placed the blame on the Texas Secretary of State's office stating, "We found out about this last-minute advisory from the Secretary of State from someone who sent us an email about it at the end of early voting five days before the election."
But Texas Elections Director Keith Ingram wasn't having it.
He released the following statement:
“As the clerk’s office confirmed to us, the county was proposing to take memory cards (MBBs) containing raw vote totals and insert them into a computer connected to an intranet,” Ingram said in an email. “They were then going to transmit these results over a T-1 line to another computer connected to the intranet for tabulation. The MBB and the computer tabulating results are both components of the voting system used in Harris County. The clerk was planning to use this risky method of results reporting even though they were fully aware it was illegal to do so, and with apparent disregard to the fact that the intelligence community has repeatedly warned election officials since 2016 of the continuing desire of nation-states to interfere with our election process. Directly connecting the county’s voting system to the intranet would have eliminated the protections that an air-gapped system provides and subjected the county to major security risks.”
The last-minute advisory Trautman referenced was posted online by the Secretary of State, dated October 23. It lists requirements that election result data must be transferred by single-use DVD/CD or by USB thumb drive.
Ingram said his office issued that advisory in order to formalize guidance they had previously given to counties in April 2019, and the Secretary of State’s Office did not change or issue any new requirements for the November 5 election.
State Senator Paul Bettencourt said, "You can’t send it through the Internet…. They said you can do something else, which is: take your MBBs—the boxes effectively—duplicate it, and let the duplicates transmit information over the Internet, because if the duplicates get blown away, who cares? Because they would have the original secured information."
Sounds like something stinks in Harris County.