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Texas Voter Turnout: Looking Back At The 2010 Raid Of A Voter Registration Drive In Houston

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Chris Eudaily
/
TPR News

On a fall Monday in 2010, agents with the Texas attorney general’s office raided the offices of Houston Votes, a large-scale voter registration project.

Attorney General Greg Abbott said the raid was required to protect the integrity of the ballot box. Critics say it was a heavy handed effort to intimidate voter registration in an area where voter turnout is historically low.

Fred Lewis is the president of Texans Together, the nonprofit parent group of Houston Votes.

"There were mistakes. At one point we had hired over several hundred people. There were mistakes that are inevitable; there were some duplicates of voter registration cards. But there was nothing illegal or noting to justify an investigation, a raid, destruction of our equipment or the ham-handed unprofessional investigation... The problems were minor, the mistakes were minor that we were making, like any enterprise that's human. And they treated it as if we were a terrorist organization. So it was gross overkill, it was abusive, it was unnecessary. There was no reason to have police officers with guns and flak jackets to come in to do an investigation of a voter registration drive."

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