Top House Republicans Want Texas
to Join Voter Fraud Hunt with Audit

Capitol Inside
July 21, 2021

GOP leaders and lawmakers in Texas have a chance to get to the heart of the rampant voter fraud that they claim to have discovered in recent months with a bill that a group of influential Republicans in the state House are pushing in special session this summer.

State Rep. Steve Toth of The Woodlands introduced House Bill 241 on the same day this month when more than four dozen Democratic colleagues hijacked the first called special session of 2021 with their second walkout on the Republicans' signature election bill this year.

The legislation that Toth has authored with 23 GOP colleagues as co-sponsors would authorize a "forensic audit" of the results last fall in a dozen Texas counties that populations of 415,000 or more. The partisan post-mortem analysis has blossomed as a popular new trend in recent months among Republicans who remain in denial about Democratic President Joe Biden's victory in 2020.

The House Republicans are following in the lead of trailblazing Senate Republicans in Arizona where they've selected an independent consulting firm with no apparent qualifications or experience for an exhumation of the November election results. Donald Trump loyalists in Arizona seem to believe that the upcoming forensic audit will show - despite having no credibility - that Biden stole the election from him in their state in a game-changing national development.

HB 241 - in its original form - would instruct Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Speaker Dade Phelan to hire an "independent third party" to conduct the examination of the 2020 election outcomes in counties that are blue in most cases.

Toth's supporting cast on the election audit features one of Phelan's highest-ranking lieutenants in State Rep. Briscoe Cain - a Deer Park Republican who led the charge for election integrity in the regular session as the chief sponsor in the House.

The first-tier sponsors on HB 241 include Republican State Reps. Tom Oliverson of Houston, James White of Hillister and Terry Wilson of Granite Shoals - a trio of major Phelan team players. Toth also has enlisted a handful of House Republicans who've been associated with the far right wing as supporting sponsors along with several other committee chairs in the Phelan House.

Toth and the GOP legislators who've signed on to HB 241 don't appear to be concerned that a truly independent audit could conceivably show that Biden also won Texas after all. The Republicans would appear to have the ability to set the process up in a way that would not be designed to sniff out voter fraud on the behalf of Republicans.

With the Democrats failing to gain any ground in the House at the polls last fall as expected, an independent review of the big city vote would have the potential to show that Republicans might not have been the victims after all, giving Democrats an opportunity to say they'd been robbed.

But the measure is purely for show - and it's a moot point for the time being with House Republicans currently incapable of passing legislation in Austin with Democrats running the show from hotel rooms in Washington D.C. for more than a week.

Phelan also tapped Toth to carry the House version of the Republicans' bid to ban critical race theory in Texas schools. After passing the proposal in regular session, Toth will get an opportuntity to try to prohibit again in special session if the Democrats give him a chance.



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