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Texas 2020 election audit of four counties to be carried out in two phases

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Voters cast their ballots in Houston, Texas. (Photo by MARK FELIX/AFP via Getty Images)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Secretary of State’s Office revealed Tuesday night its full forensic audit of the 2020 General Election in four counties will happen in two phases, the first of which is already underway.

The audit for Dallas, Harris, Tarrant and Collin counties was announced less than a week ago on Thursday.

“The purpose of this audit is to ensure all Texas voters can have confidence in the elections systems in our state, and to address any outstanding issues county election officials may face that undermines the integrity of our elections,” the office stated.

Phase 1 will focus on voting machine accuracy, cybersecurity assessments and identifying and removing ineligible voters who casted ballots during the election.

The secretary of state’s office made several claims in its audit outline, including receiving reports of voters “who may have voted twice in the state and across state lines” and reports of people using the names of deceased persons to vote. The office says it is also looking into voters who are potentially not U.S. citizens to verify their eligibility.

The secretary of state’s office clarifies in its audit details it is required by state and federal law to maintain accuracy of the statewide voter registration list to ensure ineligible voters, like those listed above, don’t remain on voter rolls.

Once the office goes through these claims in Phase 1, it will refer any possible instances of illegal voting to the Texas Attorney General’s Office to be investigated.

During Phase 2, which is expected to begin in spring of next year, the office said it will look at the election records to make sure election administration procedures were followed during the 2020 General Election.

The office could look through several records from each county, including testing records for voting machines, a list of registered voters in the election, statements of residence, a list of rejected provisional ballots and more.

After the records are reviewed from each county, and if errors are found that could affect the accuracy of the electronic voting system, the audit could trigger a full manual recount of ballots in the affected precincts or polling locations.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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