Eight and a half hours after former President Donald J. Trump publicly called on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to support legislation to create a “forensic audit of the 2020 election,” the Secretary of State’s office Texas has announced a “full forensic audit” of the results of four of the state’s largest counties.
The swift response from state officials in Texas, which Mr. Trump won by more than five percentage points last year, was the latest example of the former president’s enduring influence over the Republican Party, especially when it comes to his efforts to undermine public confidence in the legitimacy of his loss last year to President Biden.
“Governor Abbott, we need a ‘2020 election forensic audit,” Mr. Trump said in a midday open letter to Mr. Abbott. “Texans know that electoral fraud has occurred in some of their counties.”
Texas is currently without a secretary of state, following the retirement of Ruth Ruggero Hughs in May. Mr. Abbott, a Republican, has yet to name a successor.
Nonetheless, the office released a two-sentence statement Thursday evening that it would review ballots for the 2020 election in Collin, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant counties. The press release called those counties “the two largest Democratic counties and two largest Republican counties” in the state, but of the four, only Collin County backed Mr. Trump against Mr. Biden in the election. 2020. The press release indicates that the audit process has already started.
Since Arizona Republicans began reviewing more than 2 million ballots in Maricopa County, Trump-aligned Republicans across the country have sought to replicate the effort. In Wisconsin, a former state Supreme Court justice is investigating the election results and said on Monday that an audit of the ballots was possible. Pennsylvania Republicans last week searched driver’s license data and Social Security numbers for every voter in the state as part of an investigation into the 2020 election.
The various examinations did not reveal any significant evidence of fraud or irregularity in the counting of the votes. But they have created a new kind of security risk as third parties gain access to voting material and have raised questions about the use of public resources to investigate Republican conspiracy theories.
To date, there have been no serious allegations that the Texas election was flawed.
Texas Democrats have called the audit the last attempt by Mr. Abbott and Republicans across the state to meet Mr. Trump’s needs.
“This is an organized effort to overthrow the will of the people in order to fuel the ‘Big Lie’ and strike at Trump’s ego,” said Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party.