Paxton Endorses An Audit After TX Rep Intros Bill That Would Mostly Probe Blue Counties

DALLAS, TEXAS - JULY 11: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton waves after speaking during the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on July 11, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 197... DALLAS, TEXAS - JULY 11: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton waves after speaking during the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on July 11, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 1974, and is a conference that brings together and hosts conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders in discussing current events and future political agendas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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July 22, 2021 1:36 p.m.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) on Wednesday said he’d support an audit of his state’s 2020 election results days after a state representative introduced a bill to audit the state’s largest counties. It just so happens almost all of those counties voted for Joe Biden.

“I don’t know why we wouldn’t want to give people confidence in our elections, and give them the chance to know for sure that they’ve had an audit, and things are good or they’re bad,” Paxton told talk radio host Chad Hasty in an interview. “And it gives us an opportunity to figure out how we want to correct that.” 

Hasty had asked Paxton what he thought in general of auditing the state’s results, but he’d also mentioned a new, two-page proposal from State Rep. Steve Toth (R), which would empower the state’s governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House — all Republicans — to appoint a third party to audit the 2020 results. The bill has several prominent co-sponsors, including the chair of the House Elections Committee and the vice chair of the House Republican Caucus. 

But there’s a catch: Toth’s bill only authorizes a third-party audit of “each county with a population of 415,000 or more.”

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According to state and federal data from 2019, there are 13 counties in Texas with a population of more than 415,000. And of those counties, all but three — Montgomery, Denton and Collin — voted for Joe Biden in 2020.

Paxton told Hasty the details of any potential 2020 “audit” were yet to be determined. “The legislature can go and debate whatever they want to make it,” he said. 

But the attorney general was familiar with Toth’s proposal. 

“I think he had, like, 15 of the top counties of the state. Well, that’s a lot of people, that’s a lot of votes,” he said of Toth’s bill. 

“I don’t know how much cooperation you’re going to get from some of those counties, so it could be an undertaking that takes quite a while, but it may be worth doing once just to see where we’re at.” 

In another interview Wednesday, a host for One America News detailed how 10 of the 13 counties targeted by Toth’s bill went for Biden, then asked Paxton where he stood on auditing the state’s 2020 results.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Paxton said. “There’s no reason not to do an audit.”

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