On Sunday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott defended his state’s upcoming audit of presidential election 2020 results in four counties, a move after former President Donald Trump demanded inquiries about the vote last week.
Trump’s request came via an open letter to Abbott on Thursday, part of his baseless claim that he lost last November’s election to President Joe Biden due to his electoral fraud.
Despite the fact that Trump easily defeated Biden in the state, Mr. Abbott told Fox News that he does not believe the audit is a waste of government money.
“There are audits of every aspect of government,” Abbott said. “Why do we audit everything in this world, but people raise our hands in concern when we audit elections, which is fundamental to our democracy?”
Texas Secretary of State Ken Paxton ordered an audit of four of Texas’ most populous counties, Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, and Collin, after Mr. Trump released his letter on Thursday. In Harris, Dallas, and Tarrant counties, Mr. Biden won the popular vote, while Mr. Trump triumphed in Collin.
Abbott and Paxton are facing reelection next year, and both have already been approved by Trump.
Trump demanded in his letter that Abbott back HB 16, a bill that is now being discussed in a special Texas legislative session.
The bill would enable county political party chairs to request a review of their counties’ 2020 general election results. It would also make it easier in the future for political candidates and county party chairs to request election audits.
Officials in the counties targeted for the audit told the Texas Tribune that they have yet to know how the audits will be performed or why they are being conducted.
“If people want to hear it again and again and again and again, that nothing’s wrong – great, but at what point are you going to be willing to hear the truth, that nothing was wrong with the November 2020 elections?” Harris County elections administrator Isabel Longoria said.