On the last day of 2021, the Texas Secretary of State's office dropped a news release that said a forensic audit of election results in Tarrant, Collin, Harris and Dallas counties found voting irregularities.
While some might think that's a big deal, the reality of the state's exhaustive look into the voting practices of three counties where President Joe Biden beat Donald Trump uncovered that irregularities accounted for less than 1% of the votes cast.
In those four counties, 3,885,875 votes were cast — about 35% of votes in the 2020 General Election. Biden won by a wide margin in Harris and Dallas counties, narrowly beat Trump in Tarrant County and was competitive with the former president in Collin County.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that he lost the election due to widespread voter fraud. However, Trump won Texas by more than 600,000 votes but did underperform versus 2016 results.
"Let's get to the bottom of the 2020 Presidential Election Scam," Trump said in a letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a close political ally of the former president.
After Trump sent the letter to Abbott, the Secretary of State's office — now led by John Scott — announced that it would conduct an audit.
Instead, the Texas Secretary of State's office found in the four counties:
- 60 potential cross-state duplicate votes.
- 17 potential votes cast in the name of deceased people are under investigation.
- 5,483 potential non-U.S. citizens were identified as being registered to vote.
- In a review of each county's partial manual count report required under Texas law, three of the four counties reported discrepancies between ballots counted electronically versus those counted by hand. The reported reasons for these discrepancies are included in the report and will be re-examined, investigated and verified during Phase 2 of the full forensic audit.
Most of the problems with voting occurred with a limited number of hand recounts. Even those recounts were small.
The Texas Attorney General's office found three instances of voter fraud. Last month, an appeals court dealt Attorney General Ken Paxton a setback by ruling that he could not unilaterally prosecute election fraud cases after being prosecuted locally.