The great state of Texas has taken another step toward establishing election integrity with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent appointment of John Scott, a former lawyer and ally of President Trump, as the new Texas secretary of state.
Scott’s appointment is significant because the secretary of state will oversee the state’s 2020 election audit of four major counties. Texas Secretary of State John Scott was among several attorneys who formerly represented President Trump in an effort to challenge the 2020 presidential election results in Pennsylvania.
Although Texas went red in the 2020 election, the pressure to audit the state to maintain election integrity has only picked up steam. Last month, President Trump urged Governor Abbott to conduct a full election of the state, stating, “By allowing the Democrats to do what they do [cheating], it will make it much harder for the Governor and other Republicans to win election in 2022 and into the future. Texas is a much redder state than anyone knows, but this is the way to make sure it turns blue.”
The Texas governor has been fairly responsive to President Trump’s requests to take a closer look at election integrity. In September, Abbott signed Senate Bill 1, a sweeping election reform bill, into law, making ballot drop boxes and 24-hour polling places illegal. SB 1 also requires voters to show proof of identification to receive a mail-in ballot. Earlier this month, the governor called for stricter penalties for those who cast illegal votes in Texas by asking lawmakers to consider raising the consequence from a misdemeanor to a felony offense.
In a letter to the Texas governor, President Trump pressured Abbott to do more than make small legislative adjustments. “Despite my big win in Texas,” Trump stated, “I hear Texans want an election audit! You know your fellow Texas have big questions about the November 2020 Election.”
Getting a full-scale election audit off the ground in Texas has not been easy, however. A few weeks ago, President Trump slammed Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan for obstructing an election audit by standing in the way of forensic audit bill SB 47, which takes aim at establishing election integrity in the state of Texas by providing an opportunity for elected officials, political leaders, candidates, and judges to demand audits of election results. Additionally, the bill would also allow politicians to demand that the Texas Secretary of State review any reported election irregularities. Unfortunately for proponents of Texas election integrity, the legislature’s special session came to an end last week and the bill died in the House.
The new secretary of state will oversee a limited review of the 2020 presidential election results in four of the most populous counties in Texas, as ordered by Abbott: Dallas, Harris, Collin, and Tarrant counties.
“John Scott is a proven leader with a passion for public service, and his decades of experience in election law and litigation make him the ideal choice for the Texas Secretary of State,” the governor said in a statement. “John understands the importance of protecting the integrity of our elections and building the Texas brand on an international stage. I am confident that John’s experience and expertise will enhance his oversight and leadership over the biggest and most thorough election audit in the country.”
For those championing nationwide election audits, this is a significant victory. Many conservative lawmakers and politicians have decried the rampant allegations of election fraud across the United States, citing the devastating reports of problematic ballots from Maricopa County, Ariz. and Fulton County, Ga. Full, nonpartisan forensic audits under the supervision of the new secretary of state appears to be a step in the right direction for securing future elections in the Lone Star State.