Texas Matters: SOS Voter List Advisory & The 'Calaboose' | Texas Public Radio

Texas Matters: SOS Voter List Advisory & The 'Calaboose'

Feb 1, 2019

Credit Ryan Poppe

The Texas secretary of state issued an advisory to county voter registrars saying there was a problem with non-citizens registering to vote and casting ballots in Texas elections. Now, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus is demanding answers. We talk to the caucus' chair Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin. Then, in the days of the Wild West, rowdy cowboys were locked up in what's called a "calaboose." These tiny one-room cells caught the eye of Willam E. Moore, who joins us to discuss (17:24).


The secretary of state’s office said on Jan. 25 that it discovered approximately 95,000 individuals identified by the Department of Public Safety as non-U.S. citizens on the voter rolls and about 58,000 have voted in one or more election in Texas.

There is now growing push back from civil rights organizations, calling for answers from the secretary of state’s office about how it arrived at these numbers and why the data wasn’t cleaned up before going to the public.

The Old Calaboose 

During the days of the Wild West, when a cowboy got too rowdy or if an outlaw got himself cuffed, they would be locked up in the local calaboose.

While these tiny one-room makeshift jail cells seemed medieval at the time, many still stand today. They are peppered across Texas in small towns and mostly forgotten about. But the calaboose caught the eye of Willam E. Moore, who wrote the book "The Texas Calaboose and Other Forgotten Jails."

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org or on Twitter @DavidMartinDavi