Paxton, currently under indictment for securities fraud and under FBI investigation for bribery and abuse of office, did nothing to make himself look less crooked after his voter fraud unit fruitlessly spent millions of taxpayer dollars.
The Houston Chronicle is out with the damning news that after adding two lawyers and $.3 million to the voter fraud unit, up from $1.9 million, only three cases were closed this year, down from 17 last year. “That includes the newly created unit focused on the 2021 local elections, which has yet to file a single case,” the Chronicle noted.
Paxton’s office did not respond to a request for comment for this story, but in a podcast his office produced in November 2020 about voter fraud, Paxton blamed low resources for the election integrity unit’s output.
“I don’t think anybody knows the degree to which it happens because even our office who probably prosecutes more election fraud than anyone else in the country. ... We don’t have enough resources to cover all election fraud. So it’s really hard to know how large an issue this is because very few states put any resources in to actually detect or prosecute voter fraud.”
It’s a point he’s made often before, though he’s never offered specifics as to what kind of staffing or funding he would find sufficient.
Even worse than the wasted funds is that the whole thing is part of a Trumped-up effort to justify Texas' voter suppression laws:
The scant caseload comes after Texas Republican lawmakers insisted a 2020 election audit was necessary and passed a sweeping elections overhaul bill loaded with voting restrictions that Democrats have warned will have a disproportionate effect on already-marginalized voters. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, under pressure by Trump, initiated reviews of election processes across the state in the fall.
Paxton’s office has not uncovered any evidence of voter fraud in 2020 beyond isolated incidents affecting a handful of votes in an election in which more than 11 million Texans cast ballots.
The good news is that this creep is up for re-election in November and there are some good Democrats running against him.