‘It’s time to stop pandering’: Judge Lina Hidalgo responds to Texas secretary of state’s audit of Harris County election results

HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo responded Friday to the Texas secretary of state’s audit of the county’s election results, saying it’s been 11 months after the 2020 elections and officials have found no evidence of widespread election fraud.

Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee and Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria joined Hidalgo at the Friday event.

The discussion comes after former President Donald Trump asked Gov. Greg Abbott to add an election audit bill to this year’s third special session, continuing his push to cast doubts on the election results of the 2020 presidential election despite winning in Texas.

RELATED: Despite his victory in Texas and no credible evidence of widespread fraud, Donald Trump calls for election audit legislation

In a letter published Thursday, Trump said, “Texans have big questions about the November 2020 Elections,” and time is running out to conduct an audit of the “2020 Presidential Election Scam” because paper ballots are kept for only 22 months after an election.

“Gov. Abbott, we need a ‘Forensic Audit of the 2020 Election’ added to the call,” Trump wrote. “We’re quickly running out of time and it must be done this week.”

Hidalgo said Texas will conduct a forensic audit on several counties, including Dallas and Harris counties.

“All we know is that yesterday President Donald Trump urged the governor to investigate,” she said. “We are incredibly proud of the 2020 election in Harris County.”

She said Harris County ran one of the most accessible and secure voting centers during the 2020 elections and noted that this move is nothing more than a political pull and a broader trend. Hidalgo said the audit is a trend to compete on who will get favor from their party and Trump.

“Texans are smarter than this and this action threatens our democracy brick by brick,” Hidalgo said.

She said the county and residents do not deserve to be audited.

“I will not be treating this as a serious audit, because it’s not,” Hidalgo said.

The judge said the audit is nothing more than a distraction and called on state legislators to not be a part of this “dangerous sham.”

“It’s time to stop pandering and stop using taxpayer resources,” Hidalgo said.

Longoria said the county has not received any direction or why it’s been called for after the announcement of the audit. She said her focus will be on upcoming elections and that she does not care about an old election or the political back and forth.

Menefee said the announcement is undermining our democracy and is being done in bad faith because the audit came down after Trump’s request to the governor. He said there’s no guidance or reference on what is to come next for the county.

Menefee said the state’s request will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

“When they send over requests, we’ll evaluate their request and determine whether we’re required to comply with it,” he said.

The Texas Tribune contributed to this report.


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