Foreign Press Center Reporting Tour 2012

Doris Robinson, Media Relations Officer for the US Department of State-Press Center called yesterday and asked if the Harris County Clerk’s Office is open to providing the reporters (from 31 countries will be in Houston and they are very interested in learning about voting processes and issues) a briefing about the election process.

The reporters are from the following countries: Albania, Angola, Argentina, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, India, Iraq, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Liberia, Libya, Mexico, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Here are some facts about Harris County’s Population, Electorate and Election Infrastructure for them. 
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About the Election process

In the United States, elections are regulated by Federal and State laws. Federal laws provide parameters pertaining to a citizen’s right to access the voting process. State laws provide specifics which guide election administrators in the creation of a voting infrastructure which ensures fair and equal access to the voting process for all voters.

All Harris County elections are conducted in accordance with Federal and State laws. Harris County is a voter rights jurisdiction which means aspects of the voting process are subject to review by the United States Department of Justice.

Population

• With a population of 4,092,989, Harris is the third largest county in the nation, behind Los Angeles County, CA and Cook County, IL;
• Harris County is larger than 24 States in the Union;
• Harris County is the most populous of Texas’ 254 counties;
• According to the 2010 Census, Harris County’s population is 18.9% Black, 6.2% Asian, 40.8% Hispanic and 33% White.
• There are about 40 Political subdivisions in Harris County. Of those Houston is the largest.

Electorate

• There are approximately 1.9 million registered voters in Harris County;
• Harris County accounts for 17 percent of Texas’ voter population;
• In a maximum turnout election, the number of voters who cast ballots in Harris County is greater than the vote in about 20 States respectively;
• Harris County’s electorate is roughly 20% Black, 4% Asian, 17% Hispanic and 58% White.

Election Infrastructure

• The Texas Election Code provides that the Harris County Clerk work with the major Political Parties, the County’s governing authority and the Voter Registrar’s Office in the process of creating the election infrastructure.
• In 2002, Harris County was the first major county in the United States to implement electronic voting;
• Not counting miscellaneous equipment, Harris County maintains close to 12,000 pieces of voting equipment: 7,290 eSlate voting units, 1,663 units for disabled voters and 2,887 Judge Booth Controls;
• Harris County provides the largest number of Early Voting locations in the State, 37;
• During the conduct of a major election, Harris County opens an average of 730 Election Day Polling locations which are staffed by approximately 6,000 election clerks and support staff.

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