A yearlong investigation of Texas voter rolls has indicated that about 95,000 non-U.S. citizens might have improperly registered to vote, including about 58,000 who cast a ballot “in one or more Texas elections” since 1996, state officials announced Friday.
In an advisory to county voting officials, Texas Secretary of State David Whitley said his office used newly available data from the Texas Department of Public Safety to identify registered voters who might not be U.S. citizens.
The names were provided to the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who promised to investigate and prosecute illegal voting activity.
“Nothing is more vital to preserving our Constitution than the integrity of our voting process, and my office will do everything within its abilities to solidify trust in every election in the state of Texas,” Paxton said.
Casting a ballot when not eligible to vote is a second-degree felony that carries a prison term of two to 20 years.
Almost 15.8 million Texans are registered to vote, about 79.4 percent of the voting-age population, according to the secretary of state’s office
Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant, whose office handles voter registration, said he expects to get the list of suspected noncitizens Monday or Tuesday.
“We don’t know how many are in Travis County. We haven’t seen an individual list yet,” he said.
Once the list arrives, county officials will mail a written notice telling suspected offenders: “Your registration status is being investigated because there is reason to believe you may not be a United States citizen.”
Recipients will have 30 days to provide proof of citizenship — a birth certificate, passport or citizenship papers — or risk having their voter registration canceled.
“Nobody is going to get removed from rolls without the opportunity to show that they are citizens,” Elfant said.
Elfant said he will be interested to see what those responses bring.
“This is a new data set. We don’t know if it’s a good data set … or an erroneous data set. We’ll know a lot more in 30 days,” he said. “The whole process of this is to determine whether that (list) was accurate or in error.”
Beth Stevens with the Texas Civil Rights Project said she was concerned about the list’s accuracy because state officials failed to fully disclose the methods used to compile names or to say whether naturalized citizens were properly accounted for.
Read the rest at: Illegal Voters