Texas launches forensic audit of 2020 election results in 4 counties after Trump request

·2 min read

AUSTIN, Texas — Officials in the Texas secretary of state's office are conducting a "full and comprehensive forensic audit" of 2020 general election results in four of the state's largest counties: Dallas, Harris, Tarrant and Collin.

The agency announced the audit late Thursday, hours after former President Donald Trump asked Gov. Greg Abbott to add an election audit bill to the agenda for the current special legislative session.

A statement from the agency did not explain what prompted the need for an audit. State elections officials told lawmakers earlier this year that the 2020 election was "smooth and secure" and data shows that voter fraud is rare in the state.

In his letter to Abbott, Trump repeated the same inaccurate claims about the 2020 general election results that he has advanced since he lost his reelection bid. He continues to falsely claim that the election was stolen from him, despite an investigation by his own Department of Justice that determined that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud during the election.

Fact-check: Did a quorum-breaking Texas Democrat say in 2007 that 'mail-in ballot fraud is the greatest source of voter fraud'?

Related: Trump asks Abbott to add 2020 election audit legislation to special session agenda

As a result, Trump has pushed for a “forensic audit" of the election results, similar to the partisan process taking place in Arizona, to verify the veracity of election results.

Trump narrowly lost Arizona, but won Texas by 5.6 percentage points.

In the statement announcing the audit, the secretary of state's office described the four counties as the two largest Democratic counties and the two largest Republican counties in the state.

President Joe Biden defeated Trump in Dallas and Harris counties, and Trump secured more votes in Collin County. In Tarrant County, a traditionally Republican area, Biden eked out a win over Trump with 49.31% of the vote to Trump's 49.09%.

More: Texas Senate passes GOP bill allowing for audits of 2020 election

Sam Taylor, a spokesman for the agency, did not return an email seeking clarity on why the audit was launched, who will be conducting the audit or how much it will cost the state. The agency's statement said they "anticipate the Legislature will provide funds for this purpose."

Abbott's office also didn't respond to questions about Trump's request.

Texas Secretary of State Ruth Ruggero Hughs resigned from her post in May and Abbott has yet to nominate a replacement.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Texas launches audit of 2020 election results after Trump request

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