Diane Trautman has resigned as Harris County Clerk, citing “personal health concerns” as the reason for her decision.
Trautman issued her resignation, effective May 31, 2020, in a letter to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.
“Because of 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 wrote in her letter.
Hidalgo accepted Trautman’s resignation and released a statement of her own: “Dr. Trautman embodies the spirit of the community she has served. In her brief time as County Clerk, Dr. Trautman has fought to make it easier for citizens to participate in elections and make their voices heard.”
Commissioners Court will vote on Trautman’s replacement.
Trautman took office January 1, 2019. She made expanding access to the voting process the major focus of her tenure, initiating county-wide voting and beginning the work of overhauling the county’s voting technology.
Most recently, she persuaded the Democratic majority on Harris County Commissioners Court to grant her office up to $12 million to expand mail-in balloting and to render polling locations safer in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The expansion of voting by mail faces potential legal challenges.
Trautman also faced criticism over long lines on Super Tuesday and a 12-hour delay in voting results during the November 2019 elections.