LULAC, State Face Off In Federal Court Over Voter Purge List | Texas Public Radio

LULAC, State Face Off In Federal Court Over Voter Purge List

Feb 19, 2019

San Antonio Federal Judge Fred Biery heard arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by the League of United Latin American Citizens against the state over a voter purge list.

LULAC said the list of 95-thousand potential non-citizen voters, many of whom were actually found to be naturalized citizens, was compiled with the help of DPS records and was sent by the Texas Secretary of State's Office to county election officials.

LULAC attorney Luis Vera Jr. said the group wanted the judge to order the state to stop using the list because it intimidates Hispanic voters under federal voting rights.

"Right now, the temporary injunction is to make them stop," he said. "Get it right, and once you got it right, then you can do it the right way."

State attorneys argued the list was sent to counties to be used as just another resource to check the eligibility of voters. The state said local county officials were left to make the call on whether to investigate the names to determine voting eligibility.

Interim Webb County Elections Administrator Jose Tellez testified some county election officials found the advisories from the Secretary of State's office confusing and took no action, while county election officials from Blanco and Kerr counties testified they felt compelled to send notices to everyone on the lists, giving them 30 days to prove themselves as eligible voters.

Testimony was expected to continue through Wednesday.

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at Brian@TPR.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian.