Gov. Greg Abbott took exception to President Barack Obama’s SXSW pokes about voter turnout and the governor followed up with a claim that, if supported, would arguably justify Texas Rangers manning polling stations.
President Obama, kicking off the South by Southwest Interactive conference March 11, 2016, told Evan Smith, CEO of the Texas Tribune, that the U.S. is the world’s only advanced democracy that “makes it harder for people to vote,” perhaps referring to voter registration hurdles or the mandate in dozens of states, including Texas, that voters present a photo ID before casting a ballot (he didn’t specify).
Obama otherwise called it important for conference participants to study ways of redesigning “our systems” to step up voter turnout. Then the Democratic leader said, to laughter, “the folks who are currently governing the good state of Texas aren’t interested in having more people participate.”
Abbott told reporters three days later: “To the contrary of the president’s comment, the… fact is, despite our voter registration laws, we had the highest level of turnout than ever before in the primary that occurred just a few weeks before he made that comment.”
The former longtime state attorney general, went on: “The fact is voter fraud is rampant – and in Texas, unlike some other states and unlike some other leaders, we are committed to cracking down on voter fraud.”
Hear how Abbott’s claim scored in the player above.