Russian observer denied access to Texas polls on election day

Request from the Russian Consulate General to observe Texas polling station denied by Texas Secretary of State Cascos (Secretary of State Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Secretary of State’s Office has denied a request from the Russian consulate in Houston to allow a consulate official to observe a polling location on election day.

In a letter to Secretary of State Carlos Cascos, Russian Consul General Alexander Zakharov expressed interest in sending “the officer of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Houston to be present (for a short period of time, when convenient)” at a Texas polling station.

Consul General Zakharov said in his letter the goal would be “studying the US experience” of a Presidential election.

In his reply, Secretary Cascos thanked Zakharov for his letter, but turned down the officer saying, “… only persons authorized by law may be inside of a polling location during voting. All other persons are not authorized and would be committing a class C misdemeanor crime by entering.”

A class C misdemeanor is punishable by a $500 fine.

Cascos continued to say his office can discuss the election process with Russian officials, and also offered to set up a meeting for them to meet with Harris County election officials.

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