Records Reveal Big Lie Activists’ Coordination Across Texas, Emails to Texas Secretary of State

Documents obtained by American Oversight and reporting by Votebeat Texas have provided a window into the coordinated efforts of a conservative “election integrity” group in Texas to seek evidence of and advance lies about widespread voter fraud.

In July, Votebeat reported that a group called Citizens for Election Integrity Texas (CEITX) was “quietly conducting” a ballot review of the March 2020 Republican primary in Tarrant County, the state’s third-largest county and home to Fort Worth. The latest records reveal how the group has been at the center of a statewide push to find supposed fraud — including by scrutinizing the work of nonpartisan election administrators, conducting door-to-door canvassing for voters’ personal information, and seeking meetings with Texas’ secretary of state. 

Their efforts have turned up zero evidence of widespread fraud. Still, the documents uncovered by American Oversight and Votebeat’s extensive reportingpaint a vivid picture of a coordinated network of activists eager to find an audience for its claims.” 

On Nov. 8, 2021, just a few weeks after John Scott was appointed as secretary of state, a Fort Worth resident and CEITX activist named Buff Kizer emailed Scott’s office. He copied seven other activists and introduced the group, sharing their purported findings about election administration issues, including a lengthy analysis of alleged problems in Tarrant County. Kizer invited the secretary to meet with the group in person, which took place on Dec. 10 at a country club in Fort Worth.

On Jan. 22, Kizer followed up in an email to Scott and the other activists, attaching a series of one-pagers about the group’s supposed “suspicious findings” of election irregularities in eight different Texas counties, including Tarrant. 

An attached letter suggested that the group had reached out to local officials, mentioning a “cooperating Election Administrator” in Collin County who “needs only your request to begin” a “thorough independent audit” that would “complement” the ongoing audit by Scott’s office of four large Texas counties, including Tarrant. (The secretary of state’s office had announced in September —  shortly after former President Donald Trump urged Gov. Greg Abbott to conduct a “forensic audit” of the state’s 2020 election — that it had begun the four-county audit.) 

In a Feb. 7 email, Kizer said that because “there are cooperating officials at all levels” in Collin County, examining “forensic images of the servers” could “be done quietly and quickly.” He also wrote that CEITX was preparing “training videos and live sessions” with pastors across the state about “blatant vote manufacturing.”

According to Kizer’s first email to Scott, the group had also met with state Rep. Steve Toth, who Kizer said “shares our concerns” and was copied on the email. Kizer also wrote that the group had shared voter information with Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn.

In Kizer’s message to Scott after their meeting, CEITX also suggested that Scott “obtain the perspective of Russell Ramsland on serious anomalies detected in our electronic voting equipment.” Ramsland heads Allied Security Operations Group, a firm that has promoted the stolen-election narrative and was almost hired to conduct the Arizona Senate’s sham election “audit” of Maricopa County.

Tarrant County Citizens for Election Integrity contacted the secretary of state’s office numerous other times. In comments to Votebeat, Scott “acknowledged they have a right to raise them [concerns of voter fraud] and show their evidence.” 

American Oversight obtained these documents in response to open records requests to the Texas secretary of state’s office. To learn more about American Oversight’s investigation of threats to democracy in the state, visit our Texas investigation page.