Dallas, Collin Counties Not Ready to Send Out Letters Asking Voters to Prove Citizenship

Despite receiving a list of possible noncitizen voters flagged by the state, Collin County won’t send notices to voters requesting proof of citizenship before the May elections, the county’s top elections official said Tuesday.Dallas County is also proceeding with caution on the list, which includes eligible voters. The county fears legal repercussions; the list has already sparked multiple lawsuits.Bruce Sherbet, the elections administrator in Collin County, said his office received a revised list from the state last week that knocked down the county’s number of potential noncitizen voters from 4,699 to about 4,050. The removed names were people tagged in records as “code 64” — meaning they had registered to vote with the Texas Department of Public Safety when they applied for a driver license and had already established their citizenship.Sherbet said county elections staff want to make sure they do their “due diligence” — a process expected to take months — before sending citizenship review letters. Under state rules, people who fail to respond to a “notice of examination” within 30 days would be knocked off the voter rolls.“You’ve got issues of sending out letters that could initiate a cancellation process because of nonresponse, for example, that we’re very hesitant to do in any kind of election,” Sherbet said.Meanwhile, Dallas County will send notices to voters on the state list only as “a last resort,” County Judge Clay Jenkins said Tuesday after the Commissioners Court met with the county’s attorney in closed session to discuss the list.The county doesn’t currently have a timeline for how long its review will take, but officials said no notices have been mailed so far.“You don’t go out and disadvantage thousands of people because somebody might have done something incorrectly,” Jenkins said.Texas Secretary of State David Whitley announced the list last month and encouraged county officials to scrutinize whether nearly 100,000 Texans identified by his office are possible noncitizen voters. Whitley’s office matched names on the state’s voter rolls with information from DPS that indicated the person was not a U.S. citizen at the time he or she got his current driver license or state ID.Conservative politicians, including President Donald Trump and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, pointed to the secretary of state's advisory as evidence of voter fraud — even though it had not documented any cases and was instead asking counties to investigate. By Wednesday of last week, state officials had removed at least 20,000 people from the list and told county officials those voters had been placed there in error and had already proved their citizenship.  Continue reading...

Read More

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us