Texas Secretary of State Demands Voters of Color Provide Proof of Citizenship

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This week, Texas Monthly reported that since September, Texas election administrators required more than 11,000 Texans to provide proof of citizenship or lose their freedom to vote. The procedure the Secretary of State’s office has been instructing county officials to use appears eerily similar to the one used by former Secretary of State David Whitley. In that case, over 100,000 naturalized citizen were at risk of being removed from the voter rolls until a court stepped in to intervene.  

One of the core problems with the Whitley voter purge was a reliance on Department of Public Safety data that was shown to be highly unreliable. This appears to be the same data being used in this voter purge. 

Statement of Anthony Gutierrez, Common Cause Texas Executive Director

The Texas Secretary of State deputizing himself as an immigration official should alarm every voter.  

Let’s be clear: our Secretary of State is not—and should not—be in charge of immigration enforcement. 

The Secretary of State’s office should be squarely focused on providing free, fair, and safe elections for every voter.  

Though we are still seeking answers to many questions about this latest voter purge, we do know why this policy was put in place. It’s just one more shameful attempt by partisan actors to do whatever they can to suppress Brown Texans from exercising their freedom to vote.  

For months, state leaders have advanced policies that target Black, Brown, and Asian Texans to intentionally shut them out of our democratic process. From making it harder to cast a ballot to rigging our elections for the next decade with gerrymandered maps, Governor Greg Abbott and his cronies will stop at nothing to win another election. 

Time and again they have proven that their political ambitions matter more than our freedom to vote and have a say in the issues that impact us, our families, and our communities.  

Until this policy can be explained in detail to the public, we are calling on the Secretary of State to pause this process immediately.