Texas House Members Propose Bill that Could Cost Taxpayers Millions, May Lead to Damaged Voting Machines

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Common Cause Texas Responds 

Two dozen House Republicans have proposed legislation to require a third-party review of 2020 election results in large counties. 

In other states, election officials have had to replace their voting machines after pursuing similar reviews. Taxpayers in Fulton County, Pennsylvania, have already had to pay to replace their voting machines, after Wake TSI was allowed to access them. Voting machines in Maricopa County, Arizona have been tainted by Cyber Ninjas’ actions — and will cost almost $3 million to replace. Republican officials in York and Tioga counties in Pennsylvania have cited the cost of replacing voting machines as a reason for not participating in private-party reviews of their elections. 

Statement from Common Cause Texas Executive Director Anthony Gutierrez 

The decision to politicize our elections by conducting a partisan ballot review will only continue to foster distrust in our democracy and leave Texan taxpayers to foot the bill. This is nothing but a craven, partisan scheme meant to distract and divide us. 

What Texas Republicans are proposing is not an audit. It is a sham ballot review meant to fuel distrust in our elections and manufacture justifications for bills making it even harder to vote. It comes just weeks after the same leaders passed legislation in the middle of the night to make it harder for Texans to vote. There is no question: this is just another partisan attempt to not just silence voters’ voices but overturn the will of the people. 

There’s also no question: this will have costs to taxpayers — costs that will almost certainly be in the millions, costs that are completely unnecessary. No effort to undermine our faith in our elections is worthy of our democracy or our tax dollars, and neither is this partisan spectacle.  

As of December 9, 2020, all 50 states — including Texas — had certified the 2020 presidential election results. On January 6, despite a violent insurrection at our nation’s Capitol, Congress certified the election results and President Joe Biden and Texas elected leaders took office in January 2021. 

The 2020 election is over.  

The people of Texas, undeterred by a deadly pandemic, made their voices heard at the ballot box last November. Eight months after the election, it’s time our elected leaders get on with the business of this state and do the job they were elected to do.