Texas Halts Review of Voter Rolls in Lawsuit Settlement
Texas will pay $450,000 in costs and legal fees as part of a settlement reached with civil rights groups, which sued the state following its botched review of the citizenship status of those on its voter rolls.
In January, the state released a list of nearly 100,000 registered voters that the secretary of state's office considered to be potential noncitizens, of which 58,000 were said to have voted illegally in one or more elections. The review was part of an attempt to purge those registered voters from its rolls.
Election officials later backtracked on the data, admitting at least 20,000 people flagged as noncitizens were naturalized citizens. As part of the settlement, state election officials agreed to end their search of noncitizen registered voters and the planned purge of its voter rolls.
"After months of litigation, the state has finally agreed to do what we've demanded from the start — a complete withdrawal of the flawed and discriminatory voter purge list, bringing this failed experiment in voter suppression to an end," Andre Segura, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said in a statement. "The right to vote is sacrosanct, and no eligible voter should have to worry about losing that right."
Molineaux is the co-founder and executive director of Bridge Alliance, a coalition of more than 90 civic reform groups. (Disclosure: The Bridge Alliance Education Fund is a funder of The Fulcrum.)
I grew up watching reruns of "The Andy Griffith Show" in the late 1970s. It always felt to me a little nostalgic for its lessons that simple living was best. I enjoyed the show and still appreciate the values the show exemplifies.
A few years ago, as I was watching our societal divisions widen, I explored the idea of having Sheriff Andy meet Captain Picard of "Star Trek: the Next Generation." I researched and talked with people about how to help these two fictional characters meet and converse. Eventually I abandoned the idea as a fun thought experiment without a conclusion.
Maybe I was pursuing the wrong goal — and seeking something else could help improve our civil discourse.
Efforts to fend off election hackers in 2020 and beyond have revolved around protecting ballot equipment and the databases of registered voters. Little attention has been focused on the vendors and their employees.
But the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice is proposing that the vendors who make election equipment and related systems be subjected to heightened oversight and vetting, much like defense contractors or others involved in national security.
"There is almost no federal regulation of the vendors that design and maintain the systems that allow us to determine who can vote, how they vote, or how their votes are counted and reported," according to a new report from the nonpartisan policy institute.