Texas 2020 election audit find 'serious issues’ in Harris County, 'phantom voters' in Dallas County

The audit was conducted by the Texas Secretary of State office.

Updated: December 23, 2022 - 9:12am

The Texas Secretary of State office has released the final part of its 2020 general election audit for Collin, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant counties, with the most serious issues reportedly occurring in Harris, the state’s most populous county.

The report released Monday states Texas voters overall can have a "very high level of confidence in the accuracy of the outcome of Texas elections" when state election code and local procedures are followed.

However, the audit found Dallas County had two large problems including "phantom voters," according to the Epoch Times.

Secretary of State John Scott ordered the full forensic audit last year amid concerns about voter fraud. It was designed to represent the two largest Democrat-controlled and GOP-controlled counties, Dallas and Harris and Collin and Tarrant, respectively, according to the report.

In Harris County, the problems were severe enough that the Secretary of State’s office notified the county of the audit’s preliminary findings ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, the 359-page report also shows.

The audit included machines and software, security, voter registration, provisional voting, mail-in voting, chain of custody and records management, the Epoch Times also reports.

In Harris County, the audit showed "very serious issues in the handling of electronic media."

At least 14 mobile ballot boxes did not have proper chain of custody records for 184,999 ballots. 

In addition, the county failed to provide documentation for the creation of 17 mobile ballot boxes connected to 124,630 cast vote records. And tally audit logs for over two dozen early-polling places and eight Election Day polling locations did not match the electronic records, also according to the Epoch Times

Another issue involved the storage of voting records. The audit counted 534 boxes warehoused but was unable to confirm whether this was all of the records.

Dallas County's two biggest issues were related to problems with electronic poll books and losing experienced staff members.

The county's electronic equipment created at least 188 "phantom voters," according to the report. And it misplaced 318 provisional votes that were discovered in February 2021. In addition, 21 mail-in ballots were credited to voters, but their sealed, unopened ballots were discovered during the audit.