Austin, Texas – The office of the Texas Secretary of State announced on Thursday, September 24, that the state has begun a forensic audit of the 2020 General Election in four Texas counties: Harris, Tarrant, Dallas, and Collin counties.
The announcement came hours after Governor Greg Abbott received an open letter from former president Donald Trump asking the governor to add an election audit bill to the state’s special legislative session that began on September 20 and will end on October 19.
Though the four audits have already been initiated, the proposed bill would allow county chairs of political parties to request a review of the 2020 general election results in their counties and would make it easier for political candidates and county chairs of political parties to request audits in future elections.
In a Friday press conference the day after the announcement, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo stated that her office is extremely proud of the way the election was conducted and the record turnout it received from both major parties, and that the 2020 election in Harris County was one of the most accessible and secure in modern history. She condemned the audit as a “political ploy” and said that it does not deserve to be treated as a serious matter.
Hidalgo thanked all Texas voters for voting and encouraged them not to lose faith in the electoral system. She ended her statement by saying, “We will continue to do everything we can to protect your vote and your privacy. We’ll keep working to make sure Harris County elections are the most secure and accessible in the nation.”
Hidalgo was joined in the press conference by County Attorney Christian Menefee and County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria. Longoria stated that the Texas Secretary of State in office during the election said that the elections in Texas were safe and secure.
Longoria also noted that her office found out about the audit at the same time as the public and that Harris County has yet to receive any information from the state government regarding the reason for the audit or what is expected of the county government.
County Attorney Menefee stated that the audit was being initiated in bad faith and that he will work with the county to determine the legitimacy of the state’s efforts, saying, “When they send over requests, we’ll evaluate their request and determine whether we’re required to comply with it.”