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The Lone Star State has a long history of not counting every vote cast, according to retired CBS newsman and native son Dan Rather.
Counting votes in Texas this year could be particularly momentous given that Texans have already cast more ballots in the presidential election than they did during all of 2016 — an unprecedented surge of early voting in a state that was once the country’s most reliably Republican, but may now be drifting toward battleground status.
More than 9 million ballots had been cast as of Friday morning in the nation’s second most-populous state, exceeding its 8.9-plus million votes four years ago, according to an Associated Press tally of Texas early vote data.
Many voters in Texas and nationwide have opted for early voting or vote-by-mail because of the ongoing pandemic.
Donald Trump vanquished Democrat Hillary Clinton by 9 points in 2016, but this year’s polling puts the margins much closer between Trump and his opponent, Democrat Joe Biden.
No Democratic presidential nominee has won Texas since Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Yet questions about whose votes in Texas will be ultimately counted, especially in traditionally Democratic areas, have become commonplace.
Further, Texas was the site Friday of a canceled Biden event in Austin because a group of Trump supporters ambushed the Biden campaign bus on its way to the event.
“Texas has a long history, as do a lot of other states, that there are people in the state who know how to cheat and steal votes. Whether that will actually occur or not, but we always have to be alert to it,” said Rather, who anchored the CBS Evening News for nearly a quarter century before retiring in 2005. “One of the great Senate races of all times in 1948 race in which Lyndon Johnson won by fewer than a hundred votes, no one can be confident that all votes will be counted. I will say this, though: I think it’s very important for everybody, whether they’re Republican or Democrat or whatever they may be, that overall, we maintain confidence in the integrity of the votes. Will every vote be counted? Probably not.”
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