On Thursday, the Texas Secretary of State’s office released a statement noting it would examine ballots from 2020 in certain counties. The statement followed former President Donald Trump’s open letter for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to back legislation to create a “forensic audit of the 2020 election.”
Although there is currently no secretary of state, following the retirement of Ruth Ruggero Hughs in May, the office released a two-sentence statement on Thursday: “Under existing Texas laws, the Secretary of State has the authority to conduct a full and comprehensive forensic audit of any election and has already begun the process in Texas’ two largest Democrat counties and two largest Republican counties—Dallas, Harris, Tarrant, and Collin—for the 2020 election. We anticipate the Legislature will provide funds for this purpose.” Of those four, only Collin County supported Trump over Biden in the 2020 election.
The move comes several hours after former President Trump sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott which was made public through the Save America PAC newsletter. In it, Trump wrote, “Texans have big questions about the November 2020 Election” as he asked Abbott to add an audit of the presidential election results to the state’s plan.
“Despite my big win in Texas, I hear Texans want an election audit!” he continued. Last year, Trump carried the state by more than five percentage points. “We need HB 16, which was just filed in the Third Special Session. This legislation specifically addresses the 2020 Presidential Election, and enables audits for future elections. The bill creates a process for candidates and party chairs to initiate an audit, and uses the same language as SB 97, which already passed the Texas State Senate, but did not have enough time to make through the House during the Second Special Session.”
Texas now joins Arizona, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, all of which have audit efforts ongoing, although there have been no serious allegations that the Texas election was fraudulent. Auditors in Arizona began to review more than 2 million ballots, which paved the way for similar audit efforts to be made in other states. On Friday, however, the results of that audit confirmed Biden’s victory in Arizona.