AUSTIN – The Texas Secretary of State’s Office has released more details on how it will audit the 2020 election results in Dallas, Harris, Tarrant and Collin counties.
The announcement first came last week, hours after former President Donald Trump asked Governor Greg Abbott to add the issue to the special session’s agenda. Rather than hiring a company or contractor, the Texas Secretary of State’s office announced it would be doing the internal audit.
“It makes sense that our agency, as an independent non-political agency, is conducting this audit, so that all Texans can have confidence in the results of this election,” said Sam Taylor, assistant secretary of state for communications at the Texas. Secretary of State.
The audit will consist of two phases. The first will analyze the processes that Texas counties already have in place to verify that ballots were counted accurately. The second will review all files to verify that electoral administration procedures were carried out correctly.
âIt’s just a matter of objectively looking at two of the biggest counties on either side that have, you know, Republican and Democratic leadership, so that we canâ¦ make sure that all of these procedures were properly followed, that the votes were cast. been counted correctly, that the machines were working properly. And I hope, you know, give Texans who have concerns more peace of mind that our electoral systems are working properly, “Taylor said.
Trusted Democratic counties of Dallas and Harris opted for Biden in 2020, while solidly Republican County of Collin opted for Trump. Biden narrowly won in typically conservative Tarrant County. County, state and federal government officials have repeatedly confirmed that the 2020 election is secure.
âWe have absolute confidence in our results. So we welcome the state to consider whatever it wants, âsaid Bruce Sherbet, Election Administrator for Collin County. âThe biggest concern is that we don’t want voters to lose confidence in the electoral process. If it helps voters build more trust, then I think the state’s effort is worth it. “
“I am not worried about this audit, it will reveal what we already know, which is that our elections here in Texas and the United States are free, fair and transparent,” said the Dallas County judge. , Clay Jenkins.
The second phase of the audit is not expected to begin until spring 2022, when lawmakers campaign for the midterm elections. Some officials say the motivation behind the audit is purely political.
“Dragging this out for months and months and months until next year … they’re able to go to primary and tell those conspiracy theory voters, ‘illegal activity that keeps our great leaders fearless like Donald Trump, who really won the election, to be president, âJenkins said.
The secretary of state’s office says the timing is in part due to the time it may take to secure the resources for the audit.
“We are preparing a very comprehensive cost estimate to make sure the legislature understands exactly how much it’s going to take for our office to do it internally,” Taylor said.
While the state says the goal is to restore confidence in the electoral system, critics say it is a partisan effort to sow mistrust.
âThat’s what fuels these conspiracy theories, and in the process undermines democracy. It’s a shame that it’s not American,â Jenkins said.
Currently, Texas does not have a Secretary of State. The post has been empty since the spring, when the state Senate refused to confirm the appointment of the former incumbent, who oversaw the 2020 elections, and declared them “smooth and secure.”
On Wednesday night, Trump told the Texas Tribune it was a big mistake for Texas not to pass a law that would examine mail-in and in-person ballots throughout the state of Texas, and not just in these four. counties.