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Why ‘audit’ Tarrant County now? Because this isn’t really about the 2020 election

·3 min read

The mischief afoot in America’s elections is now reaching into Tarrant County.

Somebody in Austin — we don’t really know who — has ordered an audit of the 2020 election in Tarrant and three other Texas counties, with predictable findings:

The outcome won’t change,

Some votes on both sides will be from voters who didn’t sign their ballots or didn’t live at the addresses listed, and

Those unhappy with the audit will say they got cheated, that elections are crooked and that more conservative Republicans should vote.

In other words, no matter the result, nobody will win.

We’ll lose money, time and trust.

And all to appease former President Donald Trump and stoke red-meat votes for the 2022 and 2024 campaigns.

Tarrant County and Texas are now swept up in a nationwide evangelical get-out-the-vote campaign for election audits, led by a prayerful faction of Republicans claiming Trump just couldn’t possibly have lost the 2020 election countywide or nationwide.

Parker County resident Seth Keshel, the Trump legal adviser who concocted charts of “statistical tendencies” for Trump lawyer Sidney Powell’s fake legal claims, has made his goals clear at recent local and national rallies.

“You believers out there — here’s why you should care about this,” he told a July 29 prayer breakfast for LIFEChurch in North Richland Hills.

On the same big screen where he laid out Trump’s failed courtroom argument, he listed “issues right here for believers”: “medical freedom” — apparently the freedom to contract or communicate any virus of choice, regardless of societal damage — human trafficking, abortion and critical race theory, all core get-out-the-vote issues for church conservatives.

See, it’s not really about 2020.

It’s about ginning up votes for 2022 and 2024.

At an Aug. 25 dinner in Austin for an audience paying $40 per plate, Keshel pressured Gov. Greg Abbott for the audit.

“If our governor won’t lead, there are two people who are opposing him,” Keshel said, referring to Highland Park Republican Don Huffines and Garland Republican Allen West.

Using the acronym for “Republican In Name Only,” Keshel said, “There is no greater enemy to us than the RINO Republican Party.”

Now, this was after Abbott and Texas Republicans already endured weeks of battering to pass an election restriction bill that for the first time requires voter ID for mail-in ballots.

Yet a faction of Texas Republicans still demands more.

State Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, leads the campaign in the Legislature for an audit with the support of his Montgomery County neighbor, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Heider Garcia, Tarrant County election administrator, demonstrates how to use a voting machine.
Heider Garcia, Tarrant County election administrator, demonstrates how to use a voting machine.

Toth filed and updated his July 12 bill calling for an audit of Texas’ largest counties, including Tarrant.

“Voters deserve to know their vote is being counted accurately,” he said in refiling his bill.

At the Austin dinner, Toth said that until Texas elects “body-of-Christ Christian conservatives, we’re not going to have a really hardcore red state.”

Six local Republican lawmakers co-authored Toth’s original bill.

If you think this audit is absurd, tell state Reps. DeWayne Burns of Cleburne, Jeff Cason of Bedford, Phil King of Weatherford, Matt Krause of Fort Worth, Tan Parker of Flower Mound and Tony Tinderholt of Arlington.

Meanwhile, if I were on the Tarrant County Election Commission and Board overseeing the elections office, I’d send Austin this note:

“The elections office at 8 a.m. Come knock yourself out auditing us.

“But bring kolaches so it won’t be a complete waste of time.”

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