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LULAC Takes Texas Secretary Of State To Court Over Voter Purge Attempt

February 20, 2019 - 6:16 am

By Chris Fox, KRLD Austin Bureau Chief

AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - The lead attorney for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) argued in Federal Court in San Antonio on Tuesday the state of Texas was in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

LULAC Attorney Luis Vera said the state’s list of 95,000 potential non-citizen voters was inaccurate due to a flawed methodology.

The State ran outdated DPS driver license information against the current voter registry to compile the list. “We had testimony of how the state could have easily gotten information from the State Homeland Security office to try to verify these names and they didn’t even try.”

Vera argued the State was guilty of voter suppression when it sent the inaccurate list of non-citizens to county election officials and the Attorney General advising them to take action.

Some county officials did nothing while others sent letters threatening to purge the names if they did not come forward to prove their citizenship within 30 days.

Vera says, “They’ve created an atmosphere of fear, of anger, intimidation which affects voting.” State attorneys argued the counties were included as another resource to investigate voter eligibility.

The acting Secretary of State David Whitley did not take the stand on day one. LULAC used tape of his testimony last week in the Senate nominations committee hearing instead. Then Whitley refused to admit his office was at fault for releasing the inaccurate list. He did tell lawmakers “I think the process can be improved. I think that the data can be improved.”

The state is expected to begin its defense on Wednesday.