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Texas Secretary of State’s office auditing 4 counties’ 2020 elections months after official calls statewide process 'smooth and secure'

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Posted at 9:18 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 09:19:10-04

The Texas Secretary of State’s office announced late Thursday that it has begun a “full forensic audit” of the 2020 general election in four Texas counties: Collin, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant. But the statement from that agency did not explain what prompted the move.

There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Texas in 2020.

Sam Taylor, a spokesperson for the office, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The announcement came hours after Republican former President Donald Trump requested Gov. Greg Abbott add an election audit bill to this year’s third special session.

It was unclear if that request was related to the announcement from the secretary of state’s office. But Taylor’s press release said the agency has “already begun the process in Texas’ two largest Democrat counties and two largest Republican counties—Dallas, Harris, Tarrant, and Collin.”

Former Secretary of State Ruth Ruggero Hughs, who oversaw the 2020 elections, resigned when the Texas Senate refused to confirm her appointment. A deputy for Hughs called the 2020 election “smooth and secure” earlier this year.

Trump has pushed baseless claims of massive voter fraud for months since he lost the election last year — as he did after winning in 2016 — and has mounted numerous legal challenges to the certification of the 2020 election’s results.

Many Texas Republicans have echoed or supported Trump’s efforts to cast doubts on the election.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2021/09/23/texas-2020-election-audit/.

The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.