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Texas officials admit count of noncitizen voters was inaccurate

Last month's headline-grabbing assertion by Republican election officials in Texas – that as many as 58,000 noncitizens may have voted illegally in the state during the past two decades – seems to be unraveling. That's bad timing for Texas Secretary of State David Whitley, who was preparing to face hostile questioning about his voter list at a state House hearing in Austin today.

After Whitley's office instructed counties to give the suspect voters a month to prove their citizenship before canceling their registrations, it began notifying those local officials that thousands on its list were citizens eligible to vote.

The Washington Post, noting that similar efforts to show large numbers of registrations by non-citizens have come up short in North Carolina, Florida and several other states, deconstructs the situation in Texas and concludes that: "Those touting the large numbers, almost all Republicans, say the hunt for evidence of voter fraud is necessary to protect the integrity of elections. But the pattern of overblown proclamations also shows the data is easily misinterpreted — prompting voting rights activists to accuse Republicans of using the numbers to discourage eligible voters to cast ballots."

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