OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott has signed a bill into law that makes intentionally altering ballots or election reports a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The measure, House Bill 574 filed by Republican Rep. Greg Bonnen creates two new classes of election fraud offenses: intentionally counting invalid votes and failing to count valid votes, making them second-degree felonies.
The bill passed 24-6 in the Senate and 94-48 in the House.
A second election-related bill was recently passed and is headed to Abbott’s desk, which he is expected to sign.
House Bill 2283 limits how funding is used to impact elections in Texas.
It limits private donations made to county officials to be used to administer elections to $1,000 per donor unless otherwise approved by the secretary of state, governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker.
King filed the bill after witnessing how Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s personal donations of roughly $400 million through nonprofit organizations like the Center for Tech and Civic Life influenced elections in Democrat-controlled counties nationwide, including Dallas and Harris counties.
Money was given in the form of grants to distribute to local election officials in Democratic-run cities and “to combat disinformation” about the 2020 election.
Republicans aren’t stopping there to ensure future elections are secure.
Another bill, Senate Bill 598 received the most bipartisan support.
It requires all Texas voting systems to produce auditable paper trails by September 2026.
It also initiates risk-limiting audits and offers state funds to help counties buy or upgrade equipment. And it also clarifies that voting systems cannot connect to a wireless network or allow wireless communication.
The bill unanimously passed the Senate and passed the House by a vote of 136-8.
This has been a big week for election-related news.
Many have been arguing for months that the election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, could pave the way for many other states to follow.
And that is exactly what is happening.
One America News Network’s Christina Bobb announced on Twitter that representatives from Georgia, Alaska, and Colorado toured the Veterans Memorial Coliseum to analyze the Arizona audit process.
Georgia, Alaska, and Colorado to tour the AZ election audit today.
— Christina Bobb (@christina_bobb) June 8, 2021
Last week, a delegation from Pennsylvania took a full tour of the audit facility and now wants one in their state.
“So, this is going to be an opportunity for them to get out and see exactly what’s happening in Arizona — and if they like what they see, take it back to Pennsylvania,” she added.
“I’ve heard a lot of rumblings,” she said. “We’ve heard from many of the senators that they are getting accolades from around the country and many other states are reaching out to them congratulating them on the work that they’re doing and thanking them for continuing the fight and staying in the fight. And I think once they realize that the Senate was honest and being real when they said, ‘Hey, we welcome any state to come take a look at this,’ then I think we’re going to start seeing other states follow suit.”
The delegation included Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, state Sen. Cris Dush, and state Rep. Rob Kauffman — all Republicans.
The Pennsylvania Legislative Delegation is currently meeting with Members of the Arizona Legislature to discuss election integrity in the United States. pic.twitter.com/JzDan3tD0V
— Audit War Room (@AuditWarRoom) June 2, 2021
Democrats have not been fans of the Maricopa County, Arizona audit of the 2020 presidential election.
Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward has had it with what she sees as the obstruction in the Maricopa County, Arizona election audit and now she is threatening action.
“There have to be consequences,” she said during an appearance on One America News. “There could be arrests of people who are refusing to comply.”
Her interview came on the same day that it was discovered that election data that was rumored to have been deleted was found.
Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs sent a letter claiming the election machines that were audited by the Cyber Ninja team these past few weeks should never be used again.
“This equipment was accessed by amateur, uncertified ‘auditors’ with zero transparency. I support election integrity, and therefore can’t support the continued usage of these machines,” she wrote.
Last week, the Arizona Department of Public Safety was called to investigate a suspicious package sent to the office of Arizona Senate Leader Karen Fann.
One of Fann’s aides reportedly opened a letter with an “unidentified white power.”
This is significant because Fann is overseeing the election audit taking place in Maricopa County.
Democrats are fighting to stop the audit and continue to attack the Republican State Senators.