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Texas officials have confirmed that they will audit the 2020 presidential election results in four large, urban counties as Donald Trump piles on the pressure for a statewide recount – despite winning the state.
The announcement came hours after the former president, who continues to falsely claim the election was stolen from him, urged Texas Governor Greg Abbott to look into the results.
The counties selected for audit include heavily-Democratic areas in Houston and Dallas. The results in Tarrant County, the state’s third-most populous county and the location of Fort Worth, will also be reviewed. Tarrant has long been heavily Republican but Joe Biden won the county in 2020.
Collin County, covering the suburbs of Dallas, is also being reviewed. The county voted for Mr Trump in 2020.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, a Democrat, tweeted: “Donald Trump ordered Gov Abbott to audit the 2020 Texas election and, like clockwork, TX just initiated an audit of Harris County voters. Democracy isn’t a game.”
“These fake audits are an affront to all voters, and pure pandering to the kinds of extremists that stormed our Capitol,” she added.
In a statement on Thursday, the Texas secretary of state did not provide details on what had spurred the audits. Keith Ingram, the Texas elections administrator, said earlier this year that the 2020 elections in the state were “safe and secure”.
“Under existing Texas laws, the Secretary of State has the authority to conduct a full and comprehensive forensic audit of any election and has already begun the process in Texas’ two largest Democrat counties and two largest Republican counties,” the secretary of state’s statement read.
The Independent has reached out to the office of the Texas secretary of state for comment.
The office expects that the Texas state legislature will grant funding for the auditing process. It was not specified who would perform the audit.
The top position at the secretary of state has been vacant since Ruth Hughs left the post in May.
On Thursday, Mr Trump called on Governor Abbott to give the audit a green light because “your citizens don’t trust the election system”.
Mr Trump has falsely claimed that voter fraud caused him lose the election in Arizona. This week, an audit by Trump loyalists of the results in Maricopa County, where the major city of Phoenix is located, reconfirmed that Mr Biden had won the county – by a greater margin. The audit cost almost $6m, with the state senate agreeing to spend $150,000, and around $5.7m donated by Trump allies.