In one of the most stunning confessions, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton admitted that had he not used his office to block the roughly 2.5 million mail-in ballot requests from going out in Harris County(home to Houston), former President Trump would have lost Texas in the 2020 elections.
Trump won Texas by roughly 620,000 votes in 2020. Given the fact that the populous Harris County is already a Democratic stronghold, plus the fact that mail-in ballots skewed heavily in favor of Democrats nationwide(afraid of contracting covid at polling stations), any reasonable person would conclude that then candidate Joe Biden, would have erased Trump’s 620,000 margin just from the 2.5 million mail-in ballots in Harris County. Even if the Harris County mail-in ballots somehow failed to totally wipe out Trump’s lead, mail-ins from other heavily populated Democratic counties like Bexar(San Antonio) and Travis(Austin), would certainly have done the trick.
AG Paxton said on Bannon’s War Room podcast:“That’s why we filed these 12 lawsuits. We had them in Houston, we had them in San Antonio, we had them in Austin, we had them in the counties where you have the most liberal judges[top elected county executives like Lina Hidalgo]and it was a concerted effort nationally, with lots of money going into it, and just knowing that we had 12 lawsuits that we had to win, and if we lost one of them, like if we lost Harris County, Trump won by 620,000 votes in Texas, Harris County mail-in ballots that they wanted to send out were 2.5 million, those were all illegal, and we were able to stop every one of them. Had we not done that…Donald Trump would have lost the election.”
There’s no other way to interpret this other than, had Texas AG Paxton’s lawsuits failed in blocking mail-in ballot requests in the heavily populated, Democratic-leaning Texas counties like Harris(home to Houston), Bexar(San Antonio) and Travis(Austin), Trump would have lost Texas to Joe Biden in 2020. Just the 2.5 million mail-in ballot requests from Harris County alone, would have been enough to erase Trump’s 620,000 margin.
It’s important to address AG Paxton’s contention that the said mail-in ballots were “all illegal”, in it’s proper context. The 2020 elections happened in the midst of a global covid-19 pandemic. Millions of Americans, including Texans, were justifiably terrified of contracting covid as a result of physically voting in crowded polling stations. To address these legitimate fears of contracting covid, county executives in populous Texas counties like Harris, Bexar, and Travis, provided their residents with the mail-in voting option, a safe option that would allow them to vote without physically standing in line at crowded polling stations.
This safe and convenient method of voting resulted in record voter participation in the Lone Star state. Even though sending out mail-in ballot requests to all eligible county voters is not expressly spelled out in Texas law, there was nothing nefarious County Judge Lina Hidalgo (Harris) and her peers engaged in with the mail-in ballots, as AG Paxton represented in his lawsuits, and on the War Room podcast. These were simply county executives trying to make it safer and convenient for their residents to vote in the midst of a global pandemic.
The fact that AG Paxton and other Texas Republicans are terrified by the prospect of record numbers of Texans voting as a result of mail-in ballots, should tell you everything you need to know about the state of the current Texas Republican Party. It should also explain to you why a lot of the right wing vitriol on social media, is directed at County Judge Lina Hidalgo. Texas Republicans know that if Judge Hidalgo succeeds in her efforts to make it easier for people to vote via mail in her populous Harris County, Democrats will not only take over the Governor’s mansion in Austin, but also potentially sweep statewide seats as early as 2022.
Bottom line folks, Texas GOP’s new voter suppression bill that targets Harris County should come as no surprise to anyone, and neither should the right wing vitriol directed at Judge Hidalgo. Texas Republicans know that if Harris County votes in record numbers, as Judge Hidalgo is determined to see happen, the “reliably red” Texas is no more!!
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