Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on July 11 that his office is investigating nearly 400 more alleged cases of voter fraud and told audience members that concern about election fraud isn’t overblown.
The 386 cases that are being investigated are in addition to more than 500 cases that his office has prosecuted, Paxton said, without elaborating on the details of some of the cases.
“Do not believe the narrative, because in Texas we are going to fight election fraud,” Paxton said, noting that Republicans would have struggled during election day last year if his office hadn’t stopped local election officials from breaking rules around balloting.
Referring to claims that voter fraud doesn’t exist—made typically by Democrats—the Republican attorney general described it as a false narrative.
“People tell you there is no election fraud. Let me just tell you right now, my office has 511 counts in court because of COVID waiting to be heard. We have another 386 that we’re investigating,” he told the CPAC audience in Texas. “If you add those together, that’s more election fraud than my office has prosecuted since it started investigating election fraud years and years ago. So do not believe the narrative, because in Texas we are going to fight election fraud.”
In June, Paxton announced that his office is investigating 500 cases that are “waiting to be heard in court.”
Texas’s state Senate approved a sweeping bill a month prior to that announcement that would grant more power to poll watchers by giving them increased access inside polling areas. It would also create new penalties against election officials who restrict poll watchers’ movements and would allow a judge to void the outcome of an election if the number of fraudulent votes could change the result, among other provisions.
Democrats walked out during the very end of the previous legislative session in late May, ending the chances of approving any new voter integrity laws in the near future. That prompted Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, to call a new session focused on passing the election reform bill.
While Republicans have said the bill is needed to shore up any election irregularities or potential fraud, Democrats claim that they’re designed to suppress voter turnout rates, namely among minority groups.
During an interview on July 11, Abbott again pushed for the bill’s passage.
“Even Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives, they agree that as [it] concerns mail-in ballots, that is an area where improving the mail-in ballot system is a way to achieve greater election integrity,” he said.
Paxton is running for reelection as attorney general in 2022, and faces Republican primary opposition from Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, a member of the Bush political dynasty, and former state Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman. Guzman spoke at CPAC last week.
Paxton’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.