The names of 95,000 registered voters were flagged Friday by the Texas secretary of state's office for what it said were possible issues of valid citizenship, prompting pushback and even litigation from civil rights groups. A few days later, the state office quietly called counties to let them know many of those voters names actually should not have made the list.
Officials cited data from the Department of Public Safety in the advisory, saying each of these people had previously provided documentation to DPS showing they were not a U.S. citizen when obtaining a driver's license or ID card.
Voting rights lawyers say the data is flawed, as green card holders aren't required to update DPS about their citizenship status after they become naturalized citizens. The Texas Tribune reports that upwards of 30,000 Texas immigrants were approved for naturalization in the first half of 2018 and more than 52,000 were approved in 2017.
How will counties verify the citizenship status of voters still on the state's list? Is it possible that people who are citizens could have their legitimate voter registrations revoked?
Is the state making a good-faith effort to prevent voter fraud or a veiled attempt to suppress Texas voters, echoing what many consider to be a pattern of suppression nationwide?
- Alexa Ura, covers demographics, voting rights and politics for the Texas Tribune
- Chris Davis, head of the Texas Association of Elections Administrators
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This interview aired on Thursday, January 31, 2019.