“Texas should be the standard bearer for all things Republican, with a Republican-dominated legislature and state office for going on 20 years now,” Wesolek said, noting that the issue of election integrity is “absolutely” a part of this axiom.
Since former U.S. President Donald Trump left office in 2021, the Lone Star State’s Republican Party has trained over 5,000 election workers and poll watchers in the state, as part of an effort to “set the goalpost” for improving election integrity statewide and beyond, party spokesperson James Wesolek told The Epoch Times in an interview in July.
“When it comes to good Republican policy, Texas should be leading the way and showing what that means … what good Republican policy looks like,” the spokesperson added.
The Texas GOP’s in-house staff and contractors, in partnership with the Republican National Committee, county-level Republican parties, and other grassroots groups, conduct training and recruitment of election personnel in the state.
The poll watchers would observe the conduct of the election and report irregularities and violations of the Election Code, if any, to election officials. All political parties are allowed to hire election workers to observe all parts of election administration.
“It’s a team effort, and in the end, it’s all a responsibility we feel to be accountable to the voters of Texas,” Wesolek said.
Texas’s Republicans, in conjunction with former U.S. President Donald Trump and other conservative figures, have been voicing their concerns about how the 2020 election was administered.
More than 5,000 delegates at the biennial Texas GOP Convention last month voted and passed a resolution that stated President Joe Biden “was not legitimately elected” and that “substantial” election fraud in key metropolitan areas influenced the results of the 2020 presidential election in favor of Biden. This resolution makes the Lone Star state the first to reject the 2020 election results. Democrats and legacy media have vociferously denied such allegations, claiming them to be unfounded.
At the convention, the delegates voted for eight out of 15 topics they deemed important, which then became the official legislative priorities for the Texas GOP during the 88th session (2023-2024) of the Texas legislature.
Out of these eight selected priorities, the “Protect our Elections” legislative priority would guide the Texas legislature in passing measures that Republican delegates believe would improve election security in the state.
These measures include restoring felony penalties and enacting civil penalties for Election Code violations, requiring voter citizenship verification, restricting mail-in ballots to only the disabled, military personnel, and citizens that are out of state, reducing the time allowed for early voting, eliminating the three-day gap between early voting and election day, and establishing closed primaries in Texas.
“Despite the legislative priorities that we have, we’re still out in the field training poll watchers and election workers every day so that we can trust and verify, make sure that our election integrity laws that are already on the book are followed, that the law is followed, that there are repercussions for [election fraud] when it happens,” Wesolek said.
“And some of what we had seen in our legislative priorities stems from those efforts where [the poll watchers] noticed that there was lack of enforcement for some of [the election integrity laws] and wanted to get that addressed,” the spokesperson added.
Bill filing for Texas’s 88th legislative session begins on Nov. 14.