A Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives introduced a bill on Monday calling for a forensic election audit of the state’s largest counties.
The Texas Voter Confidence Act, introduced by GOP Representative Steve Toth, allows the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Speaker of the House – all of whom are currently Republicans – to select an independent third party to conduct the election audit. The review would focus on the votes cast in Texas’ 13 counties with a population of over 415,000.
Former President Donald Trump won Texas in the 2020 election, however, President Joe Biden won in areas such as Houston, Austin, and San Antonio – the state’s largest metropolitan areas.
“We need a forensic audit to uncover all the electoral fraud,” Toth said Monday in an article on Woodlandsonline, a community website. “Texans want to know more about allegations of voter fraud and deserve to be confident in their election … Voters want to know that their legal vote counts and counts.”
The move comes as the Democratic House delegation from Texas fled the state en masse to Washington, DC, to deny Republicans a quorum to pass voting restrictions. It also comes as GOP-led states have introduced or passed dozens of election-related bills in the wake of Trump’s repeated baseless claims that the election was stolen. In states like Arizona, where Biden won the presidential race, Republicans are also conducting an expensive and controversial ballot audit in the state’s largest county.
The act presented by Toth would take effect immediately if it received a two-thirds vote of all elected members in each chamber of the Texas Legislature. If passed but did not meet this range, it would take effect on the 91st day after the last day of the legislative session.
Representative Chris Turner, who chairs the Texas House Democratic Caucus, told the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday that the legislation appears to be based on “the lie that there is widespread voter fraud and that Donald Trump actually won the election.” Turner said the bill’s parameters appeared to include Democratic and Republican strongholds in the states as well.
“I don’t know if these people are aware, Trump actually transported Texas,” Turner said. “So I’m not sure what they’re trying to find in their audit. “