Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo introduces resolution denouncing 2020 Texas election audit

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo presented a resolution Tuesday morning denouncing the 2020 election audit, which she again called a "sham."

The Texas Secretary of State's Office announced last week that it will audit the 2020 election results in the state's four largest counties: Collin, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant.

The announcement to audit the counties' results came just hours after former President Donald Trump requested Texas Gov. Greg Abbott add an Election Audit Bill to the state legislature's third special session agenda.

That request comes despite there being no evidence of widespread voter fraud and the Texas secretary of state, who oversaw the 2020 election and was appointed by Abbott, declaring the election "smooth and secure."

Before Hidalgo presented the resolution to denounce the audit during Tuesday's commissioners court meeting, she called for lawmakers to make a bipartisan stand against the audit.

Hidalgo explained that the audit is designed to acknowledge "loud and clear" that "Harris County recognizes what a sham this is" and that the county opposes it.

"We can't lend our credibility to something so obviously corrosive to the point that it's almost a parody," she said, citing the recent audit of 2.1 million ballots cast during the 2020 election in Arizona's Maricopa County.

In Arizona, findings reaffirmed President Joe Biden's victory over Trump.

"The audit here was announced after President Trump asked for an audit as if he were running the state. Its intention is to undermine faith in the election processes, which we in Harris County are very proud of," said Hidalgo, who was backed by Commissioner Rodney Ellis.

Saying he was "very much in support" of Hidalgo bringing the resolution, Ellis added, "Remember, we had an election, we certified the results, we had a regular session, we had a special session, we had another special session, and the issue never came up until President Trump asked Governor Abbott to do it, so it is, in my judgment, a waste of money."

After giving her remarks, Hidalgo was asked about who would shoulder the cost of the audit, explaining that while the Texas secretary of state has implied legislators, it would really come down to taxpayer dollars.

"The message that the Texas secretary of state put out had a sentence that insinuated that the legislature would pay for it, so that is why I'm calling on legislators to not fund the audit," she began. "When I say legislature, it's taxpayer dollars."

"It's taxpayer dollars that would go to an audit that is very clearly politically motivated and corrosive to the democracy we all have built," she continued.

But when would the audit take place?

Hidalgo said that as a county leader, she'll follow the law and execute the audit, but what exactly she's supposed to do remains unclear.

According to the county judge, in the five days since the audit was announced, Hidalgo has received no additional information or instructions about what's needed.

"No additional information besides that the former president asked for an audit, and we know that it works politically for the extreme faction of one party," she said.

That echoed what Harris County Elections administrator Isabel Longoria said last week about the announced audit.

"Having had no heads up," Longoria said. "Having been given no questions, having heard no concerns from the Secretary of State. I'm now being blindsided about an audit that we have no information on and no direction on. And so my job is to protect the voters of Harris County."

ABC13 reached out to the governor's office for a response last week after the announcement, but we have not heard back.

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