Pizza Inn & Pie Five CEO Issues Voting Statement, “Widespread Concerns Over Fraud”

Widespread cheese, not fraud! (Also not a Pizza Inn pizza.)
Widespread cheese, not fraud! (Also not a Pizza Inn pizza.) Lauren Drewes Daniels
On Tuesday, as many Americans waited for Georgians to finish casting ballots to decide which party will control the U.S. Senate, Pizza Inn Brandon Solano, released a statement via PRNewswire calling for election reform.

“Widespread concerns over fraud demand commonsense changes to rebuild unity and confidence,” reads the subheadline of the press release issued by the company, which is based in Dallas.

The statement clarified for the room that the people of Pizza Inn “aren’t Constitutional scholars.” But, they do say they’re experts at making pizza and salads, “that is, when governors and other elected officials aren't shutting down our dining rooms.” (People who like pizza might say he was being too modest. Their constitutional scholarship appears to be at least equal to their pie-making skills.)

Solano went on to lay out his idea of “commonsense changes" to federal election laws that will "help restore the integrity of the system and, at a minimum, create an auditable paper trail so that future disputes can be resolved unequivocally."

Solano's suggestions include requiring valid identification of all voters, signature matching, elimination of all electronic voting machines until they have the ability to be audited, exclusive use of paper ballots for audit and recount purposes, elimination of all mail-in ballots and tighter restrictions for absentee ballots.

"We will no doubt be vilified by some for these reasonable and responsible suggestions," he continued. "We may even be accused of supporting voter suppression for recommending solutions that we believe would advance the cause of election integrity.”

Well, all righty then, since he brought it up  ...  In 2019 The Brookings Institution found that Texas has some of the most severe limits on voter registration of any state in the nation: "It takes a simple procedure and makes it needlessly bureaucratic and extremely intimidating to both voters and volunteers, while doing absolutely nothing to make voter registration more secure.”

Solano says pursuing election reform is not suppression, “It's democracy in action.” This might be true, but it begs the question of whether what he's calling for is reform or suppression. Reform is generally used for things that are broken. Making voting more onerous because you don't like the outcome is that other thing.

Nowhere in the release are there verified examples of election fraud following what Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, described as the most secure election in U.S. history until President Donald Trump sacked him last month because Krebs said that. More than 30 court cases alleging voter fraud in the 2020 general election have been tossed out of court, some with scathing rebukes from judges due to a lack of evidence, including the highest court in the country, where the majority of judges who were seated by Republican presidents. Just this week FoxNews reported, “Evidence of any widespread voter fraud that could have changed the outcome of the election, however, has been lacking.”

Pizza Inn’s parent company is RAVE Restaurant Group, which also owns Pie Five Pizza, operates 250 restaurants around the world, several of which are in Dallas County.

The release was sent before a faction of Republicans breached barricades to enter the Capitol on Wednesday. 
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.