When the Texas Secretary of State’s office put out a statement about 95,000 potentially illegal voters, I said this was just another example of a state compiling a list of potential voter fraud that will turn out to have few, if any, cases of actual voter fraud. Now Texas officials are starting to walk back that claim.
Texas officials are taking a step back on their claim they found 95,000 possible noncitizens in the state’s voter rolls. They say it is possible many of the people on their list should not be there.In a statement Tuesday, the Texas Secretary of State’s office said they “are continuing to provide information to the counties to assist them in verifying eligibility of Texas voters.”
Last Friday, Texas Secretary of State David Whitley sent an advisory to local registrars asking them to look at their voter rolls. Whitley said his office flagged the names of 95,000 people who at one point in the past 22 years had identified as noncitizens with the Texas Department of Public Safety. In that time span, officials said, they also registered to vote.
And therein lies the problem. Texas naturalizes about 50,000 people a year, which means they become eligible to vote because they are now citizens. The fact that some people, at some point in the last 22 years, were ineligible but later voted is absolutely meaningless because more than a million non-citizens became citizens during that time period. It’s just another example of Republicans making wildly exaggerated claims of potential voter fraud, then we quietly find out later that they found virtually no cases of actual illegal voting.