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Top Texas election official resigns

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AUSTIN, Texas — Texas’ top election official resigned Monday after an intense year of trying to reassure election skeptics, navigating the hectic launch of new election laws that resulted in thousands of rejected mail-in ballots and oversee a limited audit of the 2020 elections.

Secretary of State John Scott, who was nominated by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, came under immediate scrutiny from the time he took office in October 2021. He was briefly part of the former President Donald Trump’s legal team who disputed the 2020 election results but said when accepting the job in Texas that they did not dispute that President Joe Biden was the winner.

Immediately, Scott was tasked with trying to give Texas voters confidence in the election results and the ability to vote after Republicans passed a sweeping new election law just weeks before his nomination. But those efforts got off to a bumpy start in Texas’ first primary in Texas, as voters struggled to navigate new mail-in ballot requirements, leading counties to throw away nearly 23,000 ballots. postal vote.

By the November election, the rate of discarded ballots had returned to more normal levels, and Scott’s office said there were no major issues surrounding the election.

“By listening directly to the concerns of local election officials, voters and activists from all political walks of life, I have been able to understand how to better educate Texan voters about their most sacred civic duty,” Scott said in his resignation letter. .

Scott said he would return to private legal practice. His successor will be chosen by Abbott, who was reelected to a third term in November.

In September, ahead of this year’s midterm elections, Scott told The Associated Press that his office received regular threats, heard from many Texans concerned about election integrity, and was in contact with election officials. locals receiving similar messages.

Scott’s role also touched on border security this year as his office helped the governor’s negotiations with neighboring Mexican states as part of Abbott’s efforts to curb immigration. It came after Abbott issued a directive earlier this year to inspect all commercial vehicles passing through multiple checkpoints across the border, causing lengthy delays and the closure of some of the world’s busiest commercial bridges.

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