Amid a nationwide crisis of a lack of voter confidence in election integrity, with some voters still questioning the outcome of the 2020 presidential race, two Texas House races will face recounts over the upcoming weeks.
In House District 64, Wise County Conservative co-founder Andy Hopper is challenging the 88-vote margin lead of incumbent State Rep. Lynn Stucky (Sanger).
“After the dust settled, our mission to rescue Wise and Denton Counties from the lobbyist-funded establishment hinges on a mere 88 votes. Today, we are initiating a full manual recount of ballots in Denton County,” said Hopper.
Stucky—who holds a rating of 51 out of 100 on the Texans for Fiscal Responsibility Index and $85,000 in campaign donations from House Speaker Dade Phelan—was challenged in the Republican primary by Hopper after the Legislature drew Wise County into House District 64.
Thus, the district now includes Wise County and a portion of Denton County.
“We always felt like this would be a very close election, despite none of the ‘pundits’ predicting it,” said Hopper. “With an election this close, I feel as if we owe it to everyone to make sure the votes were counted properly, and this manual recount will help ensure that.”
Meanwhile, in House District 17, an open seat created a five-way challenge, with conservative activist Tom Glass coming in third place. Former Rick Perry staffer Stan Gerdes and Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape are currently headed to the May 24 runoff.
Glass, a retired system security specialist, is calling for a manual recount of the votes.
“I am aware of the many ways electronic voting systems can be compromised,” said Glass. “I worked for many years to see that Texas election systems have paper ballot backups, which can be used to check the integrity of electronic systems. If a tool for verification of election integrity is not used, it has no value.”
Four of the five counties comprising House District 17 have paper backup systems, which would be utilized if Glass’ petition to the Republican Party of Texas for a recount is accepted.
Coming in 424 votes short of second place, Glass does not seem to suspect any issues or even miscounts, but rather seeks to test the systems involved. “I have seen no evidence that has led me to conclude that the election administrators in House District 17 did anything questionable. They do a demanding job which presents many challenges,” Glass said. “But given allegations of remote hacking of Texas electronic systems in the 2020 presidential race, many Texans want to know for sure that our Texas elections are not compromised.”
Public funds are not spent on a recount, and the candidate requesting the recount must foot the bill themself.
“My understanding is that if I did not take this step, the opportunity for the people of Texas to see results of a manual paper recount in this cycle might not have happened, and that was another motivator for pushing for the recount,” said Glass.
Both Glass and Hopper, with petitions filed and deposits paid, will see their petitions accepted, and the Republican Party of Texas will then create two committees to oversee the two recounts.
Although recounts rarely change the vote margin by much, the change could be significant if counting errors did occur. This occurred in 2019 in Midland when a previously uncounted mystery box was found to contain more than 800 votes and changed the outcome of a local bond election.