In a groundbreaking move, Harris County Clerk Teneshia Hudspeth revealed today that Texas’ largest county will witness a joint primary election hosted by the Republican and Democratic Parties during the upcoming March 5, 2024, primary election cycle. This collaborative effort signifies a departure from the traditional practice of holding separate primary elections for each party.
“Conducting a Joint Primary will be a first in the history of Harris County,” said Clerk Hudspeth, the County’s Chief Election Official. “I commend the Chairs of each party and their executive committees for their due diligence in arriving at an accord that addresses the challenges presented by new legislation and best serves Republican and Democratic Primary voters.”
Under this agreement, both political parties will share common precincts, allowing voters from both sides of the aisle to cast their ballots on Election Day using the same voting equipment. Clerk Hudspeth, the Chief Election Official for the county, lauded the Chairs of each party and their executive committees for their diligent efforts in reaching this accord. She emphasized the historic nature of this decision, marking the first-ever joint primary election in the history of Harris County.
The impetus behind this joint endeavor stems from the challenges posed by Senate Bill 924, enacted during the 2023 Legislative session. The legislation mandates that voting precincts cannot be combined during primary elections, necessitating the opening of numerous polling locations. The logistical constraints, coupled with a shortage of resources, made it increasingly difficult for the parties to conduct separate primary elections.
Clerk Hudspeth reassured voters that the joint primary process would be familiar to both Democratic and Republican primary voters. This approach mirrors the voting process employed during early voting in previous primary elections and aligns with the Election Day voting process used in November elections.
In Texas, primary elections occur on the first Tuesday in March during even-numbered years, playing a crucial role in determining each political party’s nominees for the subsequent November general election.
Approval for this joint election agreement requires endorsement from the county chairs of participating parties, the county elections officer, and ultimately, the governing authority of the County via resolution.
For additional election-related information, interested individuals can visit www.HarrisVotes.com or contact 713-755-6965. To stay updated with the latest news, follow the County Clerk’s Office on social media at @HarrisVotes and @HarrisCoTxClerk.