Texas governor defends upcoming 2020 election audits Trump demanded
Sept. 26 (Reuters) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday defended his state’s upcoming audit of the 2020 presidential election results in four counties, a move after former President Donald Trump called for polling surveys last week.
Trump’s request came via an open letter to Abbott on Thursday, part of his baseless claim that he lost last November’s election to President Joe Biden due to electoral fraud.
On Friday in Arizona, a review of the results by Trump’s allies in that state’s most populous county reaffirmed that the 2020 election had been lost there.
Abbott told Fox News he doesn’t think the audit is a waste of taxpayer dollars – despite the fact that Trump easily won the state over Biden.
“There are audits of all aspects of government,” Abbott said. “Why do we check everything in this world, but people raise their hands in concern when we check the elections, which is fundamental to our democracy?” “
“HEAR THE TRUTH”
After Trump released his letter Thursday, the Texas Secretary of State’s office ordered an audit of four of Texas’ most populous counties – Harris, Dallas, Tarrant and Collin counties. Of those counties, Biden won the popular vote in Harris, Dallas, and Tarrant counties, while Trump won in Collin.
Abbott faces a re-election contest next year and has already been approved by Trump. The governor has taken several steps to the right in recent months in an attempt to push back the far-right rivals he will face in the primary.
Trump’s letter demanded that Abbott help support a bill under consideration in a special Texas legislative session, HB 16.
The bill would allow county presidents of political parties to request a review of the results of the 2020 general election in their counties. It would also make it easier for political candidates and county presidents of political parties to request election audits in the future.
Officials in counties targeted by the audit told the Texas Tribune newspaper that they had not yet been made aware of how the audits would be conducted or even why they were taking place.
“If people want to hear it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, that’s fine, that’s great,” said Harris County Election Administrator Isabel Longoria. “But when are you going to be ready to hear the truth, that all was not right with the November 2020 election?”
(This story corrected paragraph 6 to show that it was the office of the Texas Secretary of State, not Attorney General Ken Paxton, that ordered the audits. Remove reference to Paxton in paragraph 7)
Reporting by Brad Brooks in Lubbock, Texas; edited by Diane Craft
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.