Texas' Top Election Official: Since 1996, Tens of Thousands of Non-citizens Have Voted in State Elections

AUSTIN -- About 58,000 non-U.S. citizens who were legally in the country voted in one or more elections over a 22-year period, Texas Secretary of State David Whitley's office said Friday.The information is gleaned from records of non-citizens with green cards or work visas Though critics said they could have obtained citizenship before they voted -- and before driver's licenses expired -- Whitley expressed confidence in his findings.To a chorus of praise from Republican leaders and Attorney General Ken Paxton, he announced his office would ramp up an effort to ensure "accuracy" of voter rolls.But a civil rights group and the top lawyer for Democratic Party warned that Whitley and the state GOP were trying to alarm citizens with questionable statistics. They predicted Whitley and state leaders would soon conduct an unfair purge of legitimately registered voters.Sam Taylor, a spokesman for Whitley, though, insisted that "we laid out the process and our methodology very clearly. ... This is all being done in accordance with both state and federal law."Whitley, a former top aide to Gov. Greg Abbott, said he would work closely with the issuer of driver's licenses, the Department of Public Safety, and county voter registrars to help registrars "properly perform ... maintenance" of voter lists.He thanked DPS for working with his office over the past year to match a list of non-citizens who have driver's licenses with voter-registration records."Approximately 95,000 individuals identified by DPS have a matching voter registration record in Texas, approximately 58,000 of whom have voted in one or more Texas elections," he said in a written statement.The secretary of state's news release did not specify in what years the purportedly questionable voting occurred."The dates in which the 58K voted range from 1996-2018," Taylor said in an email."We didn't perform any analysis other than the number registered and the number who had voting history," he said, declining to release documentation. Taylor invited a reporter to file an open-records request.  Continue reading...

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