Texas Republicans have signed onto a bill calling for an audit of the 2020 general election in some of the state’s largest counties, including Tarrant, most of which were won by Joe Biden in the presidential race.
The proposal authored by Rep. Steve Toth, a Republican from The Woodlands, did not specify which results would be checked. The audit would apply to counties with populations over 415,000.
The bill calls on the governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker to appoint a third party to perform a forensic audit starting Nov. 1 and to be completed by Feb. 1, 2022.
“Not later than March 1, 2022, the independent third party conducting the audit under this section shall submit a report to the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the house of representatives, and each member of the legislature detailing any anomalies or discrepancies in voter data, ballot data, or tabulation,” the bill reads
Toth did not immediately return requests for comment. Other authors of the bill include Republican Reps. Tom Oliverson of Cyprus, James White of Hillister, Briscoe Cain of Deer Park and Terry Wilson of Marble Falls.
Co-authors from North Texas include Jeff Cason of Bedford, Jake Ellzey of Waxahachie, Phil King of Weatherford, Bryan Slaton of Royse City, David Spiller of Jacksboro and Tony Tinderholt of Arlington.
The lawmakers are back in Austin for a special session.
The legislation was filed on July 12, the same day Texas House Democrats fled to Washington in an effort to block GOP-backed election bills that they say would disenfranchise voters. More than 50 Democrats left the state to break quorum.
House Republicans in Austin can’t hear bills in committee or on the floor as long as there’s not a quorum of two-thirds of representatives present.
Tarrant County Elections Administrator Heider Garcia and Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley could not be reached for comment.
The audit would apply to Bexar, Cameron, Collin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Bend, Harris, Hidalgo, Montgomery, Tarrant, Travis and Williamson counties. Biden won all of them except Collin, Denton and Montgomery.
Former U.S Attorney General William Barr has said there’s was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 general election that could have altered the results.
In Arizona, a 2020 battleground state won by Biden, Senate Republicans have enlisted contractors to audit the 2020 election. The audit centers on the vote count in Maricopa County.