ORLANDO, Florida — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is urging states with Republican legislatures to prioritize the issue of election integrity, providing his remarks in an interview with Breitbart News during the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Paxton, an outspoken combatant of voter fraud allegations — which increased in the months leading up to and following the 2020 general election — said that despite Texas’s success in preserving voting safeguards such as signature verification of mail-in ballots, he was disappointed in the election processes in other Republican-led states.
“Texas initially had I think it was 12 lawsuits that we fought in our own state over judges, local officials trying to change our laws — that were passed by our state legislature — to force more mail-in ballots, to force us to not have signature verification when we do have mail-in ballots, and so we fought those and we won every single one of those lawsuits and we protected the integrity of our elections,” Paxton said.
“And then, to my surprise, other states did not do that, and you had states like Georgia and Pennsylvania where the laws were not followed,” the attorney general charged.
Paxton in perhaps his highest-profile lawsuit to date contested the presidential election results in four battleground states — Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — with the U.S. Supreme Court following the November 3 election, but the court quickly dismissed the case on grounds that Texas had “not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.”
Paxton maintains however that Texas voters were “disenfranchised” by the election processes in the other states.
“The state legislature passed these laws, and then individual counties were doing their own thing and making up their own laws, which is a violation of equal protection laws under the Constitution, and so we sued and said look my voters are being disenfranchised in Texas because we’re following state law,” Paxton argued. “The Constitution requires that every state follow the law, and so this is wrong and these results should not be valid. That was our lawsuit.”
Election integrity dominated conversation nationwide in the weeks and months following November 3, and concerns over the matter were intensified as former President Donald Trump repeatedly claimed the election had been “rigged” and sought to overturn the presidential election results in several states on such grounds.
Paxton, for his part, has also targeted specific instances of voter fraud in his state, highlighting recently an investigation in Medina County that led to the arrest of four individuals on 150 counts of voter fraud:
Voter fraud is real & is an attack on the integrity of our elections. The left tries to gaslight Americans into believing it doesn’t exist and isn’t bad. My office will continue to lead the way in protecting our elections by rigorously investigating & prosecuting all voter fraud. https://t.co/O71eVkzij4
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) February 28, 2021
In January, Paxton announced a San Antonio woman had been arrested and charged with election fraud, illegal voting, unlawfully assisting people voting by mail, and unlawfully possessing an official ballot following an investigation prompted by undercover video from the watchdog group Project Veritas.
Paxton is now urging states where Republicans control the legislature to cement voting safeguards into law to improve voter trust in the election process. A Morning Consult poll with the subtitle “Republican trust in U.S. elections plummets in the wake of the 2020 election” showed 33 percent of Republicans trusted the U.S. election system as of January 25, 2021, a drop from 72 percent last September.
“There are certain states where we still control legislatures and we still have governors,” Paxton told Breitbart News. “I would encourage them to work with the legislature in those states and make sure that their laws are tightened up and that they don’t allow this to happen again because the credibility of these elections is so important. We don’t want to be Venezuela. We don’t want to be another country where people don’t trust the elections, where there’s really no reason to go vote if you don’t know if the integrity of the elections is good. And I think in these states where you have all these mail-in ballots, where you don’t have a photo ID and you don’t know for sure who’s voting, and on top of that, you don’t even verify signatures. You’ve got a real problem having any credibility in your elections and that harms democracy.”
Write to Ashley Oliver at [email protected].