Committee Report Calls for Action
Following the 2017 legislative session, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick formed the Select Committee on Election Security to examine shortcomings in our election system.
In early December the committee issued a report detailing an uptick in fraud investigations and prosecutions before calling for specific actions.
According to the report, in 2018 the Attorney General’s elections division resolved 97 cases of election fraud through prosecutions. This figure includes convictions, deferred adjudications, and diversion with a stipulation of guilt.
In addition, the AG’s office has a backlog of 63 open investigations, with 59 election fraud offenses pending prosecution. This caseload represents a significant increase at a time when Texans are being told voter fraud doesn’t exist.
Stats and figures in the report were accompanied by anecdotes.
A law that allowed polling places to be taken to nursing homes was tested in 2017. At one facility that treated exclusively Alzheimer’s patients, 100% of the residents requested ballots. However, when the election clerk tried to come onsite, he was refused entry.
It could be that senior citizens were deprived a vote or that a harvesting scheme was thwarted. Either way, it appears something irregular took place.
The report notes that the Secretary of State just recently began the ongoing process of identifying and removing duplicate registrations. The first passed netted 100,000 duplicates which were referred to the counties for further action.
Further actions by the Secretary of State were highlighted in the report and are needed. Before Christmas, a group of grassroots leaders issued a letter calling for specific actions.
Add your name to those leaders here: Sign the petition.
One thing the SoS can do immediately is to adhere to the law requiring the use of an interstate cross-check system. These systems allow states to partner with one another and make certain that voters are not registered in multiple states.
To date, the SoS is not currently taking part in this program.
The Senate select committee was chaired by Senator Bryan Hughes, a consistent advocate for enhancing voting integrity in Texas during the 2017 legislative session.
Letters by Republican Senators Brian Birdwell, Bob Hall and Don Huffines were attached to the report. All supported the report’s findings, with Senator Hall calling for a laundry list of changes to be implemented and Huffines imploring the AG and SoS to take “a more aggressive and concerted approach to election security.”
Check out the full report below.