Dallas Morning News: Third lawsuit filed against Texas ‘purge list’ investigation into potential noncitizen voters
Dallas Morning News: Third lawsuit filed against Texas 'purge list' investigation into potential noncitizen voters
AUSTIN — Alleging that the state is discriminating against naturalized citizens and infringing on their voting rights, civil rights groups on Monday filed a third lawsuit against the Texas secretary of state’s office for instructing counties to investigate whether tens of thousands of noncitizens were voting using flawed data.
“The right to vote is sacrosanct. Yet, the Texas Secretary of State has engaged in a sloppy exercise that threatens to unfairly strip people of the opportunity to participate in American democracy,” Andre Segura, legal director for the ACLU of Texas, said in a news release announcing the lawsuit. “Even after we told Texas officials that this would happen, they doubled down on this failed experiment and left us with no other recourse but to take this to court. We look forward to ensuring that all eligible Texas voters can make their voices heard on election day.”
Last month, Secretary of State David Whitley sent out an advisory to counties saying that there were 95,000 people on the voter rolls who had received their driver’s license while not U.S. citizens. Of those, 58,000 had voted in one or more elections since 1996, Whitley said, and he asked counties to send them letters seeking a proof of citizenship to remain on voter rolls. …
“Mr. Whitley has no business being involved with elections, much less serving as Texas’ chief election officer,” Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of Common Cause Texas, said in a written statement.
Common Cause is among the groups that have asked Whitley to withdraw his office’s Jan. 25 advisory.
“This ‘voter purge’ was poorly thought out, incompetently implemented and definitely seems to have been more about politics than anything else,” he said. “At this point, I think purging Mr. Whitley from the secretary of state’s office would be the single best thing we could do for voting rights in Texas.”