Today, nonpartisan watchdog group American Oversight launched an open records investigation into Texas’ recently announced “forensic audit” of the 2020 election in Dallas, Harris, Tarrant, and Collin counties.
American Oversight’s ongoing investigation into the “audit” in Arizona has already forced the public release of more than 80,000 pages of records, including emails revealing extensive partisan bias and involvement of conspiracy theorists in the ballot review.
The 14 new records requests submitted to Texas today ask for the release of communications from the offices of the governor, secretary of state, and attorney general as well as the elections departments and county commissioners courts in Dallas, Harris, Tarrant, and Collin counties concerning this audit.
“As we’ve seen in Arizona, these phony audits have nothing to do with election security and are intended to perpetuate false claims of voter fraud to justify new restrictions on voting,” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight. “This latest ‘forensic audit’ demanded by Donald Trump is more than a waste of taxpayer money; it’s a dangerous expansion of the assault on our democracy already underway in Arizona, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.”
The Texas secretary of state’s office announced this audit just hours after former President Donald Trump publicly urged Governor Greg Abbott to support legislation that would allow for a “forensic audit” of the state’s 2020 election results, as well as future presidential elections. In September, Abbott signed into law a slate of voting restrictions that makes Texas one of the most difficult states in the country to vote in.
The previous Texas secretary of state, Ruth Hughs, described the 2020 election as “smooth and secure.” Documents previously uncovered by American Oversight and cited by the Houston Chroniclehave shown that the Texas attorney general’s office spent 22,000 staff hours in 2020 prosecuting just 16 cases of alleged “voter fraud.”
Today’s requests are part of American Oversight’s broader investigation into threats to democracy in Texas and across the country. More information on the watchdog group’s investigations in Texas is available here. Today’s requests are available here.
American Oversight is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit ethics watchdog that uses public records requests backed by litigation to expose official misconduct, threats to democracy, and abuses of power at all levels of government. Documents obtained by American Oversight have supported investigative work by journalists, congressional committees, and independent watchdogs, and have been featured in hundreds of news reports across the country. Follow us at @weareoversight and learn more at http://www.americanoversight.org.