A fire that destroyed 10,000 Harris County voting machines last August was the result of an electrical short, not arson, said Kevin Brolan, acting deputy chief of the Houston Fire Department’s arson division.
The fire, coming as it did just weeks before the start of early voting last fall, gave rise to speculation of arson with a political motive.
“The fire doesn’t respect what time of year it is, who’s running or whatever,” Brolan said at a media briefing today. “All causes other than electrical heating and/or electrical shorting malfunctions have been eliminated through the course of this investigation. This fire will be classified as the result of an unspecified electrical short.”
The county ultimately gathered enough replacement machines through purchases and loans to run a nearly fully equipped election.