Secretary Scott releases Phase 2 report on full forensic audit of 2020 General Election in Texas

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Texas Secretary of State John Scott is releasing a report on the second and final phase of the agency’s full forensic audit of the 2020 General Election in four of Texas’ largest counties: Collin, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant.

Phase 2 of the audit, undertaken over the past year by the Texas Secretary of State’s Forensic Audit Division, included a comprehensive examination of election records from the 2020 General Election in each of the four counties, resulting in more than 369 GB of data obtained.

The Phase 2 final report, which spans 360 pages, includes key findings from the 2020 General Election on aspects of the election process, including: reconciliation of voters checked in versus ballots cast; physical security of election equipment; adequacy of counties’ training materials; ballot-by-mail processes; provisional ballots; voter registration; and complaints received regarding alleged irregularities.

“From the beginning of my time as Texas Secretary of State, I made clear that audit process was meant to provide factual, objective information on the 2020 General Election process in Texas, and that’s exactly what we have released to the public today,” Secretary Scott said. Texas has some of the strongest and most effective transparency measures in the country when it comes to administering and auditing elections. The Texas forensic election audit – which is, by far, the largest undertaken in the nation to date – demonstrates how these measures can and should be used to make sure Texas voters can have confidence in the outcome of any given election, as well as which areas counties need to address to restore confidence going forward.”

The summary finds that two of the four counties audited performed well, while two others did not.

Texas’ two largest counties saw the most problems:

Harris County

• In at least 14 polling locations, mobile ballot boxes (MBBs) containing 184,999
cast vote records included in the tally did not have proper chain of custody.

• Harris County was not able to provide documentation for the creation of 17
MBBs accounting for 124,630 cast vote records.

• The electronic pollbook records from at least 26 Early Voting locations and 8
Election Day polling locations did not match the Tally Audit Log for those
locations.

• Harris County did not have an inventory of their warehoused records for the
2020 General Election. FAD counted 534 boxes but cannot confirm this
comprises all records. At times, FAD observed the label used on the outside of
the boxes inaccurately described the contents.

• Harris County was the only county that did not provide a “list of Early Voting
or Election Day polling locations that had a discrepancy of one percent or more
between the number of voters that checked in to the number of votes cast at
that location,” requested at the outset of the audit. This is basic reconciliation
that should have been easily produced.

• FAD was not given the opportunity to speak with pertinent staff until October
2022 when the new administration provided access to address the issues with
the Tally Audit Log.

Dallas County

• Dallas County’s pollbook issues created what Dallas County termed “phantom
voters”. When a voter checked in, the electronic pollbook checked in a different
voter. FAD verified that this affected 188 voters. FAD was unable to determine
if additional voters were affected due to incomplete records.

• Dallas County misplaced 318 provisional votes that were discovered in
February 2021 after the election had been certified. 63 of these ballots would
have counted if processed correctly.

• Vote history records reflected 21 voters had received credit for voting by mail
yet FAD located their unopened ballots in sealed carrier envelopes.

• FAD found that a single person assisted 393 voters in completing mail ballot
applications.

• Dallas County’s record of transferring ballots from the Early Voting Ballot Board
(EVBB) to Central Count show that the ballots tabulated at Central Count were
fewer than those delivered by EVBB. The tabulation audit log reflects additional
mail ballots tabulated which did not track back to those transferred by the
EVBB. Dallas County forms show 76,991 ballots left the EVBB but 78,147 were
recorded in the canvass.

• Dallas County provided four sources of data showing mail ballots statistics.
These sources were inconsistent and none matched the canvass.

Both Tarrant and Collin Counties were found to have had far fewer problems:

Tarrant County

• Tarrant County’s electronic media containing mail ballots were named
inconsistently, making tracking ballots difficult. The numbers were ultimately
verified through other documentation.

• Election workers were not consistent in printing zero tapes prior to the opening
of polls.

Collin County

• 21 voters received ballots by mail who were not entitled to vote by mail. For
further detail see Voting by Mail section.

You can read the entire report from Secretary of State John Scott by clicking here.

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