The Republican efforts to keep as many people from the polls — especially if they’re likely to vote Democratic — continues in many states. Texas is trying to purge its voter rolls of “dead” people but keeps hitting people who are very much alive. And here’s what happens when someone is wrongly purged from the state’s Qualified Voter File:
In Houston, high school nurse Terry Collins got a letter informing her that after 34 years of voting she was off the Harris County rolls. Sorry.
“Friday of last week, I got a letter saying that my voting registration would be revoked because I’m deceased, I’m dead. I was like, ‘Oh, no I’m not!’ ” Collins says.
In order to stay on the rolls, the 52-year-old nurse had to call and inform the registrar of her status among the living. She tried, but it didn’t go so well.
“When I tried to call I was on hold for an hour, never got anyone,” she says. “I called three days in a row and was on hold for an hour or more.”
Texas got the names off the Social Security Administration’s death list. Social Security warned Texas that the list shouldn’t be relied on, but to no avail. The state Legislature and Texas Gov. Rick Perry passed legislation last session mandating the change.
In Houston, after Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners got hundreds of calls from elderly voters who’d gotten the death notice, he looked at the Social Security list that was being used.
“And then a quick check of some of the information on that database led us to believe that there was a big probability that even a majority of the names on the list were people that were still alive,” he says.
Sumners is refusing to go through with the purge, but other local election officials will probably go along with it. Florida had the same problem earlier this year with a voter purge that removed thousands of eligible voters from the rolls. Here in Michigan, the former Secretary of State lost at least two court cases over inaccurate voter purges and intentional attempts to engage in illegal voter caging. This is the real voter fraud.