HARRIS COUNTY – Citing fear of the Covid-19 pandemic, and other health concerns, first term Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman announced her resignation last week.
In a letter addressed to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Trautman said the resignation would be effective May 31. The Commissioner’s Court will appoint an interim Clerk, Judge Hidalgo said.
Trautman said that her decision was “due to personal health concerns… the Covid-19 pandemic, my age, and underlying health issues. I do not feel I can safely continue to carry out my duties as Harris County Clerk.”
Trautman took office in January 2019, after holding previous positions as a teacher, local school board member, and county school board member.
The County Clerk is in charge of all elections, and in that capacity she brought a number of innovative advances to the election process in Harris County. She is credited with convincing the county and the state to allow voters to cast their ballots at any polling location, instead of the one closest to their home.
Due to the Coronavirus, she has also been working on a plan to allow the majority of voters to vote by mail instead of risking their health at polling locations. She has received preliminary county funding of $12 million for this effort, but has been told by the state that it would not be legal to allow all to vote this way, and she is awaiting resolution of this ruling.