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Texas House Republican introduces bill calling for forensic audit of 2020 election

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A Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives introduced a bill Monday seeking a forensic election audit of the state’s largest counties.

The Texas Voter Confidence Act, filed by GOP Rep. Steve Toth, authorizes the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the House — all of whom are currently Republicans — to select an independent third party to conduct the election audit. The review would focus on the votes cast in Texas’ 13 counties with a population over 415,000.

Former President Donald Trump carried Texas in the 2020 election, however, President Joe Biden won in areas including Houston, Austin and San Antonio — the biggest metropolitan areas in the state.

“We need a forensic audit to uncover all the voter fraud,” Toth said Monday in a post on Woodlandsonline, a community web site. “Texans want to know more about the claims of voter fraud and deserve to have confidence in their elections…Voters want to know that their legal vote counts and matters.”

The move comes as the Texas House Democratic delegation fled the state en masse to Washington, D.C., to deny Republicans a quorum to enact voting restrictions. It also comes as GOP-led states have introduced or passed dozens of election-related bills following Trump’s repeated baseless claims that the election was stolen. In states such as Arizona, where Biden won the presidential race, Republicans are also conducting a costly and controversial audit of ballots in the state’s largest county.

The act introduced by Toth would take effect immediately if it received a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each chamber of the Texas Legislature. If it passed but did not achieve that margin, it would take effect on the 91st day after the last day of the legislative session.

Rep. Chris Turner, who chairs the Texas House Democratic Caucus, told The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday that the legislation appears to be based on “the lie that there’s widespread voter fraud and Donald Trump really won the election.” Turner said that the bill’s parameters also appear to include both Democratic and Republican strongholds in the states.

“I don’t know if these folks are aware of it, Trump actually did carry Texas,” Turner said. “So I’m not sure what they’re trying to find in their audit.”

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Looking back at President Biden’s first six months

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U.S. officials say hundreds of Americans reported possible cases of Havana Syndrome

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