Texas Republicans Introduce Bill Allowing Secretary of State to Overturn Election Results

Texas statehouse

Reginald Mathalone/AP

Republican lawmakers in Texas proposed a bill that would enable the secretary of state to overturn election results in counties that have one million residents or more.

Senate Bill 1993 was introduced on Thursday by state senators. It would allow the secretary of state – currently a Republican – to order a new election and gain district court-level authority.

The text of the bill states that “the secretary of state shall order a new election if the secretary has good cause to believe that at least two percent of the total number of polling places in the county did not receive supplemental ballots under Section 51.008 for one or more hours after making a request for supplemental ballots to the authority responsible for distributing election supplies.”

The legislation further says that “the secretary of state shall have the same authority granted to a district court.”

The passage of the bill would affect six Texas counties: Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar, Travis, and Collin.

Harris County experienced an onslaught of conspiracy theory attacks during the 2020 and 2022 elections due to having technical difficulties ranging from the polling sites opening late to having a shortage of paper ballots.

GOP officials conducted audits and Republican candidates challenged their losses. Current Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) even conducted an investigation over allegations of improprieties. All of these efforts resulted with a conclusion that the county did not suffer from widespread voter fraud.

The expenses that would result in calling a new election by the secretary of state would be paid for by the same authorities that funded the original election.

The bill was introduced without a 48-hour notice in the State Affairs Committee. If passed, it would take effect starting Sep. 1, 2023.

The bill’s proposal was first reported by Kaila Philo at Talking Points Memo.

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