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ICYMI: Secretary John Scott: Full Forensic Audit will Restore Faith in Texas Elections

November 22, 2021
Contact: Sam Taylor

AUSTIN — Writing in the Houston Chronicle yesterday, Texas Secretary of State John Scott explained the need for the full forensic audit of the 2020 General Election currently underway, highlighting that the ultimate goal of the audit is to restore Texas voters' trust in our state's election systems. The column comes after Governor Abbott and state legislative leadership approved $4 million for the creation of a permanent Election Audit Division within the Texas Secretary of State's office to complete the ongoing full forensic audit of the 2020 General Election and subsequent audits required by Senate Bill 1.

"For the past several election cycles, voters have faced a crisis of confidence in the very system that underpins our representative form of government," Secretary Scott wrote in the column.

"Whether it was the specter of foreign interference in our elections or allegations of widespread mail ballot fraud during the pandemic, voters have been hit with a barrage of reasons to doubt the system. And, unsurprisingly, it’s starting to take its toll on their faith in the integrity of our elections..."

"...This is why, in order to restore voters’ confidence in the strength and resilience of our election systems, Texas is conducting the largest and most comprehensive forensic audit of the 2020 General Election."

Secretary Scott continued: "While county election officials have already conducted partial manual recounts, election security assessments and voter eligibility verification, the Texas Forensic Audit goes well beyond any other legislative election audit proposals or models in other states. Our audit examines, among other items: chain of custody records of voted ballots and voting equipment, audit logs from electronic voting systems, and materials from Early Voting Ballot Boards and Signature Verification Committees to ensure that mail ballots were not subjected to tampering and match the list of voters who requested them.

"Importantly, this will be the country’s most comprehensive 'forensic' audit of the 2020 election, using analytical tools to examine the literal nuts and bolts of election administration to determine if any illegal activity may have occurred. Using the authority given to our agency by the Legislature, we will conduct additional full manual recounts of any and all precincts affected by election irregularities.

"We will follow the facts, follow the evidence and ensure any cases of illegal voting or election crimes are investigated by the proper law enforcement authorities, including the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

"Texans should be encouraged by the dedicated county election officials who work cycle after cycle to conduct elections with the integrity and professionalism that voters deserve.

"But voters also need peace of mind — they need assurances that Texas election law and federal laws protecting the rights of legal, eligible voters are being followed at every step in the process. When irregularities occur, no matter how inconsequential they may seem, it takes a concerted effort to restore voters’ faith in elections."

Read Secretary Scott's full column in the Houston Chronicle.