© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference near the international bridge between Mexico and the United States, as immigrants seeking asylum in the United States wait to be processed, in Del Rio, Texas, US, September 21, 2021. REUTERS/
By Brad Brooks
(Reuters) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday defended his state’s upcoming review of 2020 presidential election results in four counties, in an action taken after former President Donald Trump called for investigations into the vote last week.
Trump’s request came via an open letter to Abbott on Thursday, in part from his persistent and baseless claim that he lost last November’s election to President Joe Biden due to electoral fraud.
Friday in Arizona, a review of results https://www.reuters.com/world/us/arizona-republicans-release-findings-widely-panned-election-audit-2021-09-24 by Trump allies in that state confirmed The most populous county he lost the 2020 election there.
Abbott told Fox News he didn’t think the scrutiny was a waste of taxpayer money — despite the fact that Trump easily won the mandate over Biden.
“There are audits for every aspect of government,” Abbott said. “Why do we audit everything in this world, but people raise our hands in apprehension when we review elections, which are fundamental to our democracy?”
Hear the truth
After Trump released his letter Thursday, Texas Secretary of State Ken Paxton ordered a review of four of Texas’ most populous counties — Harris, Dallas, Tarrant and Collin counties. Of those counties, Biden won the popular vote in Harris, Dallas, and Tarrant counties, while Trump won in Cullen.
Both Abbott and Paxton face re-election contests next year — and Trump has already approved both. The governor has made several further moves to the right in recent months in attempts to fend off far-right rivals he will face in the primaries.
Trump’s letter asked Abbott to help support a bill being considered in a special legislative session underway in Texas, HB 16.
The bill would allow the county chiefs of political parties to request a review of the results of the 2020 general election in their counties. It will also make it easier for political candidates and provincial chiefs of political parties to request a review of the elections in the future.
Officials in the counties targeted for the audit told the Texas Tribune that they have not yet been informed of how the audits are going or even why they are being conducted.
“If people want to hear it over and over again, there’s nothing wrong – great,” said Isabel Longoria, Harris County Elections Director. “But at what point would you be willing to hear the truth, that there was nothing wrong with the November 2020 election?”
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