April 1, 2019/Media

BREAKING ICYMI: House Oversight Committee Launches Investigation Into Thwarted Texas Secretary of State Voter Suppression Attempt

Texas Republicans Attempt to Use Same Old Playbook to Suppress the Vote

AUSTIN, TX — On Thursday, the United States House of Representatives Oversight Committee announced an investigation into Acting Secretary of State David Whitley’s attempt to purge 95,00 Texans from the voter rolls in late January. [Dallas Morning News, March 28, 2019]

Highlights from the Dallas Morning News include:

  • The House Oversight Committee expanded its probe of voter suppression into Texas and Kansas.

  • Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings wrote to Acting Secretary of State David Whitley, “We are disturbed by reports that your office has taken steps to remove thousands of eligible American voters from the rolls in Texas and that you have referred many of these Americans for possible criminal prosecution for exercising their right to vote.”

  • “On Jan. 25, the state notified counties that about 95,000 registered voters may not be U.S. citizens, instructing local elections officials to cancel these registrations within 30 days unless the individuals proved their citizenship. Tens of thousands of these names were flagged in error. Within weeks the state halted the purge and a federal court issued an injunction.”

  • “The state later admitted that more than 20,000 Texans who had already proved their citizenship to the state Department of Public Safety had been erroneously included on the purge list.”

  • Voting rights and advocacy groups for people of color agree that the attempted purge was an attempt at voter suppression, aimed new citizens.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“In our great nation, there is nothing more sacred than the right to vote. Some of our greatest American heroes have fought, bled, and even died to protect the sanctity of the vote. Attempts to suppress the right to vote dishonor the sacrifices made from those in our past and throw the integrity of our elections into question.

“We are thankful for the House Oversight Committee launching an investigation into acting Secretary of State David Whitley’s failed attempt to suppress the right to vote. We applaud Chairman Cummings for his leadership and agree that any found wrongdoers should be criminally punished to the fullest extent of the law.

“Democrats are committed to fighting voter suppression tactics and protecting the right of all eligible voters to cast their ballot without obstacles or intimidation.”