The Annie's List Blog
Champion Spotlight: Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman
February 22, 2019
Harris County, the largest in Texas and third largest in the nation, has long been unfriendly to voters. But in the 53 days since Diane Trautman was sworn in as County Clerk, she has worked diligently to improve the notoriously disorganized office. With Trautman at the helm, she will ensure that voting rights are protected, equal access to voter registration and the act of voting itself are prioritized, civic engagement and participation are encouraged, and polling sites are open when they say they’ll be–a far cry from the efforts of her predecessor.
What does the County Clerk do?
Courtesy of Harrisvotes.com
The County Clerk is Chief Elections Officer of Harris County. The office serves as administrator of elections and works with the Commissioners Court, the Tax Assessor Collector, the major political parties and other stakeholders to establish an elections infrastructure that facilitates access to the voting process to the citizenry of the third largest county in the United States.
What she’s achieved so far:
County Clerk Diane Trautman’s work in her short time in office highlights the importance of who we elect, and not just at the top of the ticket. While Election Day excitement and name recognition tends to be reserved for Federal and statewide races, our elected officials at the state, county and local levels make many decisions that have an immediate and tangible impact on our daily lives. In just 53 days, these changes have already been implemented by Trautman:
- Voting Centers
- Instituted a Community Advisory Committee to help with Voting Centers
- Held 7 Community Meetings and 2 Public Hearings on Voting Centers
- Developed a proposal for Countywide Voting Centers in Harris County
- Unanimous approval by the Commissioner Courts of the proposal
- First Election (Special Election for vacant HD 145 seat)
- Extended the hours to 7:00-7:00 the first week of Early Voting
- Released results quickly, with frequent updates throughout election night
- At the Office
- Provided mandatory sexual harassment training for all staff
- Changed the marriage license to a less gender-biased design, and included an encouragement to make registering to vote a priority for newlyweds!
- Filing an application to the Secretary of State for permission to bring Countywide Voting Centers in Harris County to begin on the May 4, 2019 election — A woman of her word, this application was submitted the day after the Commissioners Court voted unanimously to proceed
- March 5 Runoff Election for State Representative District 145 – Early Voting runs February 25 – March 5 — We love that this information is available in four languages
- New, improved Election Judge Training with online training modules
I strongly encourage all qualified citizens to exercise their right to vote.