HOUSTON (KIAH) — Houston furniture salesman, philanthropist and occasional big-time sports bettor Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale has filed a lawsuit against Harris County’s elections office over its issues in the 2022 election.
McIngvale, along with former journalist turned private investigator Wayne Dolcefino, has filed a suit against the county’s election office looking to gain discovery and find out why some problems like not enough paper ballots were at some polling places and malfunctioning voting machines were allowed to happen on Election Day last November.
Harris County elections administrator Clifford Tatum has admitted in a report that the errors happened, but the Harris County Republican Party has sued the county, asking for a new election.
The lawsuit says that Dolcefino and McIngvale tried six times to get public information from the county about the 2022 election, and were denied each time, with the county citing a section of the Texas government code that that they could not release any information due to ongoing litigation.
Although Dolcefino said that he could not find any voters that were disenfranchised, the lawsuit is meant to force the elections office to open their information to the public.
McIngvale ran several commercials in support of Alexandra del Morial Mealer, the Republican candidate for Harris County Judge, in the leadup to the November election. Mealer lost to Democratic incumbent Lina Hidalgo by a slim margin.
But McIngvale claims that his suit is not political in nature.
“We want transparency in Harris County, we want to shine the light on this,” McIngvale said at Tuesday press conference. “If the elected officials did their job, then A-plus for them. If they didn’t, then someone needs to hold them accountable.”
The Harris County Elections Office responded to questions about the lawsuit with the following statement:
“Since the lawsuits filed starting in November and more recently on January 6th, the Elections Administrator’s Office has and will continue to follow the law and Texas Election Code. The office has responded with transparency to two audit requests from the state, and has released an assessment on the November 2022 election.
The office has readily responded to public information requests not requiring documents subject to the litigation. Any request that involves information involved in litigation has been sent to the Attorney General for an opinion, and both the Harris County GOP and Harris County Democratic Party are copied on these requests.
According to the Public Information Act, the Attorney General’s office has 45 working days from the day after the request to respond. As of today, the office has not received an opinion on how to proceed with these particular public information requests.
Any suggestion that the Harris County Elections Administrator’s Office lacks transparency is false.”
The county will have 21 days to respond to the lawsuit. Meanwhile, Republicans from across the county and the state continue to demand that something nefarious happened in Harris County’s elections. Even Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has called for a new election in the county.