AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the formation of his 2021 Texas Election Integrity Unit Monday morning.

The formation of this unit is said to be a concentrated effort to devote agency lawyers, investigators, support staff, and resources to ensuring this local election season is run transparently and securely. The primary function of the Integrity Unit is to serve as a resource to both election officials and the public.

The effort to form this new unit should come as no surprise, considering that Texas has been in the national spotlight for its efforts to ensure election integrity within the state. Not to mention Gov. Greg Abbott’s signing of the controversial SB1, the Texas Election Integrity bill, which sparked conflict within the Texas House and ultimately led to House Democrats abandoning the special session in an effort to stall the bill.

The politics around these efforts to create election integrity have been nowhere near bipartisan, as Republicans claim that these are necessary measures for election integrity, while Democrats say that they could lead to voter suppression.

This is nothing new, however, as Paxton leads an election integrity division year-round. Nonetheless, this 2021 unit is a dedicated group tasked specifically with overseeing this year’s election season, which begins this week with early voting. It is also a follow-up program from 2020’s Ballot Fraud Intervention team.

“The foundation of our constitutional republic is a secure and transparent ballot. It is why my office remains ever vigilant in defending the integrity of our elections. And it’s why I’m establishing a 2021 Texas Election Integrity Unit to monitor this season’s local elections—which, even though they’re local, must be run in accordance with state law.”

AG Ken Paxton

As it is a public resource, the 2021 Texas Election Integrity Unit will monitor a public email receive information about alleged violations of the Texas Election Code.