President Donald Trump this week added pressure to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, stating it would be a “big mistake” for him to not pass audit legislation contained in House Bill 16.
Trump called on the governor in an interview with the Texas Tribune to add election integrity to the call during the special session. He believes Texas representatives must pass House Bill 16, sponsored by Republican state Rep. Steve Toth, during the upcoming session to ensure the state has safe, secure, and transparent elections in the future.
The 45th president said that by not conducting a forensic election audit, the left will be allowed to get away with more fraud in the future, especially as the state prepares for upcoming 2022 elections.
“By allowing the Democrats to do what they do, it will make it much harder for the Governor and other Republicans to win election in 2022 and into the future,” Trump said. “Texas is a much redder state than anyone knows, but this is the way to make sure it turns blue.”
H.B. 16, filed on Sept. 8, would conduct a full, forensic audit to address “election irregularities,” including providing a “civil penalty” if potential violations are not “remedied” by the county clerk, or addressed by the 30th day the notice is sent.
The county clerk would be asked to cooperate with the secretary of state in providing all election-related information for the election audit. The bill also allows state or county chairs to request audits, the formation of election review advisory committees, and would make it easier for candidates and party chairs to request audits or reviews in future elections.
Texas’ secretary of state’s office published more details regarding the scope of the current audits underway in Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, and Collin counties on Tuesday. It includes two phases. The first would address partial manual counts of ballots. The second phase would examine election records “to ensure election administration procedures were properly followed.”
More specifically, the second phase includes reviews of records of voting machine accuracy tests, rosters for early voting, forms detailing chain of custody for sealed ballot boxes and other election materials maintained by the counties.
As the third special session within Texas approaches, it is up to Abbott whether the entire state will see a full forensic audit.