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LULAC’s Legal Challenge To Texas Voter Purge Attempt Continues In Federal Court

February 21, 2019 - 6:16 am

By Chris Fox, KRLD Austin Bureau Chief

AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - The plaintiff’s key witness has gone missing. Betsy Schonhoff played a key role in the creation of the now-proven inaccurate list of non-citizens the state tried to purge from the voter roll.

Luis Vera, the lead attorney for the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC) says Judge Fred Biery has asked the State to find her. “She’s been dodging our subpoenas. We’ve been looking for her everyday…That’s how we found out she was no longer with the Secretary of State’s office.” Schonhoff resigned last week after working in the Secretary of State’s office since 2012.

The LULAC contends the state tried to purge 95,000 names from the voter registry despite knowing the list they compiled was inaccurate. Vera is accusing the state of violating the Voting Rights Act. “Voter intimidation…pure racism…whatever you want to call it…it’s all balled up into one. Every case I fight with the State, every one of them over the past 20 years has been the same thing…Voter Intimidation.” Vera is asking the judge block the state from using the inaccurate list. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office claim the compilation of the list and process of releasing it to county election officials was done legally.

In a federal district court in San Antonio, lawyers for the state argued no laws were broken.

The Attorney General’s spokesman, Marc Rylander released the following statement:

“The arguments our office made in court demonstrate that this effort is not only legal, but it’s necessary to protect the voting right of all Texans. The other side’s arguments ably demonstrate this entire lawsuit is really nothing more than an exercise in politics. We continue to look forward to defending the voting rights of all Texans by assuring that everyone on the voter roll in Texas is eligible to vote.”

Vera says he’s hopeful the case will wrap up this week.