Election experts concerned about potential security threats created by audits of 2020 presidential election

Texas’s announcement of an audit of the 2020 presidential election results is spurring criticism from election watchdogs about potentially creating new threats to future election integrity.
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 5:16 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Election experts are growing increasingly worried about a new kind of security risk as third parties gain access to voting equipment. The calls come as Texas election officials said Thursday night they were auditing the 2020 results in four large counties.

Texas A&M political scientist Kirby Goidel is among them.

“It’s concerning that we’re bringing people in and giving them access, third parties access to our voting machines and our election machinery,” Goidel said.

He explained that rather than making American elections safer, it could potentially open the voting process up to new kinds of threats.

“I’m worried. How worried? On a scale from one to 10 maybe not at a 10,” Goidel said, “but certainly above one. Somewhere maybe around a five range.”

He called the recent audit from Arizona and the newly announced audits in Texas odd and speculated that it may be tied to GOP-led efforts to find any evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

“The timing is particularly odd,” Goidel explained, “especially when you combine it with the fact that we just had a special session where we passed the change in the voting laws. You probably would have wanted the audit before you change the laws because typically an audit is used to inform changes to election procedures.”

He said these audits, despite the months-long audit in Arizona confirming the results of the 2020 election, could actually do more to hurt Americans’ faith in the voting system than they will to helping restore confidence.

“It’s sending a message that there was something wrong with the electoral process that needs to be fixed.” Goidel said, “this seems more like a fishing expedition and it’s not as clear what they’re looking for. I’m guessing that it will not make anybody feel any better about our elections.”

Watch the full interview in the player above.

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