This Chron story is about Dan Patrick telling a group of local Republicans that the 2022 election should be re-done in Harris County, because he has nothing better to say or do with his time. His claims, which the story notes he does not try to verify, aren’t worth the effort to copy and paste, but this tidbit caught my eye:
Without citing any examples of disenfranchised voters, the petition asks the court to declare the elections office made mistakes substantial enough to affect the outcome of the election.
According to Mealer’s petition, “there is no dispute that there were several dozens of polling locations who at some point in the day, ran out of paper and turned voters away.”
Tatum has maintained that while paper supplies ran low at some locations, the county has not been able to confirm whether any voters were turned away as a result.
Republican judicial candidate Erin Lunceford filed an election contest lawsuit in December after losing Harris County’s 189th judicial district court race to Democrat Tamika Craft.
In an email obtained by Craft’s attorneys and posted on the Harris County District Clerk’s website, Harris County Republican Party Chair Cindy Siegel gave candidates the party’s estimate of disenfranchised voters. Siegel’s email was sent on Jan 3, three days before the deadline to file election contest lawsuits.
“Based upon information to date we believe there were approximately 2,600 or more estimated voters turned away due to running out of ballot paper or machines not working for a period of time,” Siegel wrote.
It’s unclear whether that estimate would be enough to flip even the narrowest margins, as in Lunceford’s race, which Craft won by 2,743 votes out of more than 1 million ballots cast, or 0.26 percent of the vote.
The margins are far wider in some other races candidates are contesting. District Clerk candidate Chris Daniel lost by 25,640 votes, while County Clerk candidate Stan Stanart lost by 34,448 votes.
The election contests will be heard by Judge David Peeples of Bexar County. A trial date has not been set yet.
Emphasis mine, and see here for the previous entry. Note that as yet, not a single person has been identified as someone who showed up at a voting center on Election Day, was actually unable to cast a ballot while there because of paper issues, left before the problem was resolved, was unable to go to any of the 750 other voting locations in the county, and ultimately did not cast a ballot. Maybe such people exist and Republicans have been successful at keeping them all quiet until the lawsuits are heard, who can say. At this point, three months out, they seem as plausible as Bigfoot sightings, but let’s take Cindy Siegel at her word and assume the existence of 2600 actual people who were actually unable to cast a ballot on Election Day.
And if we do assume that statement to be a fact, then it is still the case that every single one of those Republican losers are still losers, with most of them still losing by more than a full percentage point, which is well above the standard for recounts that the loser doesn’t have to pay for. And that assumes that literally every one of those 2600 non-voters would have voted for the Republican candidate. Which would be so outlandishly unlikely as to appear to be its own conspiracy. I know that the Republicans are claiming that these problems took place at mostly Republican locations – another claim that is dubious at best and seemingly contradicted by news reporting on Election Day – but even the most partisan locations aren’t unanimous. In all likelihood, these votes would more or less split fifty-fifty, as a microcosm of the larger election, but let’s go ahead and assume the “friendly turf” claim as well. Suppose these votes split 80-20 for the Republicans, which would be plausible for an exclusive sample of such locations. That would mean that the Republicans netted about 1600 votes, which I need not point out is even farther away from closing the gap. If the margin is 60-40, the net gain is about 500 votes. Even under the most ludicrously generous assumptions, the math just plain doesn’t work.
And whatever else you may think about Dan Patrick, he’s not an idiot. He knows this. He also knows that his audience doesn’t care, and he knows that if he keeps repeating the lie, some people who don’t pay close attention will just think that the election was a mess and we don’t really know who won and maybe these “election integrity” laws that the Republicans keep passing have some merit. Winning takes many forms, after all. The Trib, which reported Patrick’s remarks but didn’t fact check them, and Campos, who called the Trib story “lazyarse reporting”, have more.