DAT Calls Upon Governor Abbott to Begin Verifying Citizenship in the Voter Registration Process.
Requests Gov. Abbott take executive action, issue an administrative order, and mandate citizenship verification for voter registration by the Secretary of State.
(North Richland Hills, TX) A Texas Grassroots Coalition sent a letter to the Governor and help a press conference today demanding the Governor direct the Secretary of State to verify citizenship of voter registrations. Below are Aaron Harris comments as well as a copy of the letter send to Governor Abbott.
“My name is Aaron Harris – I am the Executive Director of Direct Action Texas. As an organization we have been at the forefront of election fraud investigations around Texas leading to numerous criminal investigations.
I am proud to have worked in the last legislative session on election integrity reform, which resulted in Texas Governor Greg Abbott calling for increased penalties for mail in ballot fraud. By signing SB5 (carried by State Sen. Kelly Hancock and State Rep. Craig Goldman) Gov. Abbott let everyone know that mail in ballot fraud is a serious problem and that Texas will not sit idly by as it occurs. As a result Texas has seen a drastic increase in mail in ballot indictments and prosecutions this year, including right here in Dallas County.
But SB5 was only the beginning. We have much more work to do.
Today I am proud to release this Grassroots Coalition letter addressed to Governor Abbott. In this letter leaders from around Texas join in calling for the Secretary of State to begin checking the citizenship status of those registering to vote. The Governor has oversight of the Secretary of State’s office as the Secretary of State serves at the governor’s pleasure.
It is a reasonable expectation that we, as Texans, as Americans would demand that only citizens vote in our elections. That’s what the law requires. In fact – most Texans assume that only citizens are registered, and are voting. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
At a February Senate hearing the Starr County District Attorney, Omar Escobar, stated: “That non-citizens are registered to vote is beyond question. The non-citizens are voting in Starr County is also beyond question.” The only remaining question is ‘how many’?
Let us talk about that.
To the surprise of most Texans, no one, and I mean no one, has the job of verifying the citizenship of those on the voter rolls. In that same February senate hearing on this topic it became evident that neither the counties nor the SoS are checking citizenship. So how does one go about counting or analyzing how many non-citizens are voting? Who does that? The fact is, some have been trying to check the integrity of our voter rolls, but at every turn they run into resistance at the Secretary of State’s office. They seem hell bent on not helping anyone seeking to determine the veracity and accuracy of Texas’ voter rolls.
Governor Abbott must step in. This problem was discussed at length at that hearing, but no figures giving insight into the severity of the problem were discussed, even though members of that committee had been privately briefed on them. I am going to discuss those numbers now.
We have 28 million Texans, 21.5 million of which have DPS issued ID’s. Another 6 – 6.5 million are under the age of 16. Between those two groups we know who 27.5-28 million people are either minors or of 16 years of age or older, with a DPS-issued ID. In summary, there are very few adults in Texas, of voting age, without a DPS-issued ID.
Of the 21.5 million with DPS ID’s just over 2 million are legal residents, non-citizens. Of those, 14 pecent, or 280,000 people, are registered to vote, even though they are not legally eligible according to DPS’s database. (Remember Rosa Ortega, the Tarrant County case?)
We have just over 14 million registered voters in Texas. Just over 4 million of the registered voters – or 30 percent of registered voters – DO NOT match up to DPS’s database, or other government databases. Again, roughly 30% of all registered voters in Texas cannot be matched in DPS’s database.
Who are these people? While it’s unlikely that all 4 million are ineligible to vote, that fact is, we don’t have any clue how many shouldn’t be registered. Nobody knows, and so far, nobody is checking.
Texans demand to know who is improperly registered, and illegally voting, in Texas.
Could illegal aliens make up a significant portion of these 4 million voters? I don’t know. No one does, because no one has attempted to answer this question. And if they have, they have been unable to do so. It is an open question, leaving citizens of this state in the dark.
When completing a voter registration application, by statute, the SoS pings the DPS database and verifies address, DOB and pulls down their social security number. This is required, per federal law. DPS already has citizenship information in that person’s file. All that is required is of the Secretary of state to do is pull down that one additional data point from a database they are already accessing. There is no fiscal cost to this. This simply makes sense, and honestly, most Texans probably assume it’s already happening.
Multiple members of the Texas legislature have been briefed on these troubling numbers. Both the 280,000 non-citizens who are improperly registered, according to DPS…and, the 4 million registered voters that DPS has no record for. Certain lawmakers and state agencies have known about this problem for a while, yet one agency seems determined to impede any desire to get to the bottom of this – the Texas Secretary of State’s office.
This is why Governor Abbott, who is head of the executive branch, must act.
Today we want everyone to know this is a real and identified problem, however as of yet, not a resolved problem. In the past two legislative sessions State Senator Van Taylor has filed a bill to address this. In the upcoming session, State Senator Don Huffines has pledged to file a bill to address this issue. Both senators know the magnitude of the problem. Yet democrats fight tooth and nail against reveling the truth.
So today we call upon Governor Abbott to continue to fight for truth. To continue fight for what’s right. To continue to fight for the integrity of Texas’s voter rolls to ensure they are adequately checked for citizenship.
Texans demand our November elections only have legal citizens voting for these important offices. We can no longer afford to kick the can down the road.
JoAnn, I, and other members of the grassroots coalition look forward to working with the Governor to a quick enactment of this citizenship check.
And we look forward to working with any member of the Texas Legislature – whether Republican or Democrat – who will join our coalition’s call to ensure that Texans have honest and fair elections.”
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