AUSTIN (KXAN) — The American Civil Liberties Union responded Monday to an advisory from the Texas Secretary of State David Whitley, which reported that 58,000 non-citizens voted in state elections over a 22-year span.
The ACLU of Texas, in addition to a coaltiion of civil rights and community organizing groups, sent a letter to Whitley demanding that he rescind his advisory’s statements. In a press release, the organization claims that details of the advisory investigation have not been disclosed and that public officials like President Donald Trump have used it for talking points.
“Given the long history of anti-immigrant policies and attempts at voter suppression by our Texas officials, we cannot trust that this investigation has been conducted in a fair and non-discriminatory manner,” said Andre Segura, legal director for the ACLU of Texas. “History has shown that voter fraud is extremely rare and efforts to identify unlawful voting en masse have proven to be highly inaccurate. Despite President Trump’s histrionic and highly inaccurate statement about voter fraud, each county in Texas must now act responsibly so that marginalized communities can exercise their right to vote without intimidation.”
In addition to demands for rescinding the advisory, the groups have asked election officials in all of Texas’ 254 counties to take no action until the Secretary has provided more details on the procedures and safeguards for the investigation.
“With this new Advisory, Texas officials have taken another page straight out of the voter suppression handbook. The ‘investigation’ outlined by the Secretary of State is woefully inadequate and risks purging thousands of eligible Texans from the voting rolls. ” said Beth Stevens, Voting Rights Legal Director with the Texas Civil Rights Project.
“The Advisory is another attempt from state officials to drum up support for a radical anti-voter agenda in the current Legislative session and in other states with like-minded officials. With such irresponsible assertions now in the public, we call on the Secretary of State to immediately rescind this advisory.”