AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton on Sunday (Nov. 8, 2020) filed a brief in the Texas Supreme Court arguing that under the Texas Election Code, county election officials must permit poll watchers to observe the counting of ballots. Attorney General Paxton’s friend-of-the-court brief comes in response to a lawsuit alleging that the Travis County Central Counting Station is violating Texas law by excluding poll watchers from areas where ballots are being counted and obstructing poll watchers from performing their duties under Texas law.
“The election laws passed by our Legislature were specifically designed to ensure integrity, security and transparency. Poll watchers are critical for increased confidence in election integrity and the prevention of fraud,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Texas law provides for poll watchers as a procedural protection against irregularities or unlawful conduct. Watchers must be allowed to perform their lawful duty and verify the ballots are counted correctly—something they can’t do when stuck in a holding room. I will always fight to uphold the law and preserve the integrity of our elections.”
The lawsuit at issue alleges that the Travis County Central Counting Station sequestered poll watchers behind a locked door in a separate room where they could not observe counting activities and did not have sufficient access to verify the integrity of the process. These allegations are supported by sworn declarations.
Read a copy of today’s filing here.