This is certainly going to spark some conspiracy theories in the competitive Rick Perry-vs.-Bill White gubernatorial contest in Texas. Harris County is Houston, where White was mayor and where his base should come from on Election Day.
The Houston Chronicle reports:
Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman this morning said she is confident of timely, clean elections in November, even as a fire that destroyed the county's entire inventory of 10,000 electronic voting machines still burned.
Kaufman urged voters to cast their ballots early to help the county cope with a possible shortage of equipment on election day.
"Because I don’t expect to have 10,000 pieces to work with, no matter what we do, I’m sure that we’re going to be putting on a full court press urging people to vote early," Kaufman said.
Houston Fire Department spokesman Patrick Trahan said arson investigators were at the scene of the fire, but no cause has been determined.
The three-alarm blaze started about 4:15 a.m. at the football field-size warehouse the county uses to store its election equipment. Firefighters extinguished the flames about four hours later.