A Texas lawmaker introduced a bill this week that would require third-party election reviews in the state’s largest counties for the 2020 election. A Republican overseeing a partisan investigation into last year’s election results in Wisconsin recently issued a warning to local election clerks about possible subpoenas.
A legal battle has erupted in Pennsylvania over a Republican-led effort to demand the personal information of millions of voters as part of the state’s election investigation.
As Republicans in the Arizona Senate prepare to release the findings of a long-delayed and troubled examination of the 2020 election in Maricopa County on Friday, calls for recounts in other key battlegrounds continue.
Republicans are responding to pressure from Trump and his supporters to investigate discredited fraud claims and undermine the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s victory by calling for a rerun of the 2020 election, even in places where Trump won last November.
In Florida, where Trump won, state Rep. Anthony Sabatini introduced a bill earlier this month that would require a third-party review “of every precinct in each county with a population of 250,000 or more.”
Only one of the dozen Florida counties that President Joe Biden won in November has a population of more than 250,000 people.
Sabatini, a Republican congressional candidate who has aligned himself closely with Trump’s politics, told CNN that he began with large communities as a test but is open to reviews in all counties.
He described the reviews as something that should become standard post-election procedures “just to make sure elections are working the way people say they are working.”
“Whether it’s 10 minutes or 10 months or 10 years after the election really has nothing to do with the principle of the matter,” Sabatini added. “You want to double check to increase certainty in the election results to make sure there were no mistakes made, that there was no fraud.”
Attempts to re-run the election in these battleground states will have no effect on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, which has already been declared. However, election observers say the widespread calls for reviews are part of a larger effort to politicize election administration and undermine public confidence in the results.
“This is the continuation of the Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen, said Michael King, the associate director of law and policy at the nonprofit voting group Secure Democracy.
“Part of it is calling into question the legitimacy of our elections, writ large,” he said. “And a lot of partisan elected officials are using it to energize their base and potentially fundraise off of it.”
Some Republicans are attempting to use the reviews as a campaign issue in the coming primaries.
In Texas, Don Huffines, a conservative Republican running for governor against Greg Abbott, is urging him to include election review legislation on the agenda of a special legislative session that began this week. Texas was won by Trump by a margin of more than 5%.
State GOP Rep. Steve Toth introduced a bill in Texas that would require third-party “forensic audits” of the 2020 election results in large Texas counties. And, as with the Arizona audit, private donations may be used to help pay for it.