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Texas Lawmaker Files Bill for Forensic Audit in 13 Counties

“AN ACT relating to a forensic audit of 2020 election results in certain counties.”

QUICK FACTS:
  • Texas Representative Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) has filed a bill for a forensic audit in the top thirteen high-population counties in Texas, each county representing about half a million Texans.
  • The two-page bill (HB 241) will “appoint an independent third party to conduct a forensic audit of the general election that took place on November 3, 2020.”
  • These forensic audits will take place “in each county with a population of 415,000 or more.”
  • HB 241 mandates these audits to begin “no later than November 1, 2021” and to be completed “not later than February 1, 2022.”
  • By March 1, 2022, the auditors must submit a report “detailing any anomalies or discrepancies in voter data, ballot data, or tabulation” to “the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the house of representatives, and each member of the legislature.”
  • Toth represents Texas’ fifteenth state house district.
THE TEXAS COUNTIES TO BE AUDITED:
  • Harris
  • Dallas
  • Bexar
  • Tarrant
  • Travis
  • Collin
  • Denton
  • Hidalgo
  • Fort Bend
  • El Paso
  • Montgomery
  • Williamson
  • Cameron
WHEN THE BILL TAKES EFFECT:
  • The Act will take effect “immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house,” according to the bill.
  • But even if the Act does not receive the necessary votes for immediate effect, it will still take effect “on the 91st day after the last day of the legislative session.”
WHAT REP. TOTH SAID:
  • “Prior to the special session, I met with constituents across District 15 in South Montgomery County. The Texas Voter Confidence Act is a product of those meetings and a direct request from the voters who sent me to Austin,” Toth said, according to The Texan. “Texans want to know more about the claims of voter fraud and deserve to have confidence in their elections.”
WHAT THE COUNTY JUDGE SAID:
  • County Judge Mark Keough (Montgomery County) supported HB 241 saying, “Representative Toth’s proposed bill is timely and necessary with a view to exposing any instances of fraud during the 2020 election and reassuring Texas voters that their votes were accurately counted.”
  • “I fully support passage of this bill and look forward to the results of the audit,” Judge Keough added.
BACKGROUND:
  • The Texas attorney general’s election integrity unit reported that there are 510 alleged offenses against 43 defendants currently pending prosecution at a hearing in March, notes The Texan.
  • There are almost 400 election fraud investigations under way in Texas. Jonathan White, the chief of the election fraud section, said that prosecutions are at an “all-time high.”
  • Rep. Toth’s bill comes as Democrats stalled a special session called by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott after they fled the state to prevent Republicans from passing an election reform bill.
THE FULL BILL: