News. Debate. Community. Levers for a better democracy.

Parties Take Sides in Texas Voter Roll Analysis

About 58,000 votes have been cast in Texas in the past two decades by non-citizens who were in the country legally. That's according to the state's Republican secretary of state, David Whitley, who said Friday his findings will lead to a redoubled effort by his office to ensure "accuracy" of voter rolls.

A civil rights group and the Democratic Party warned that Whitley and the state GOP were using questionable statistics to alarm voters. They told the Dallas Morning News they suspected Whitley's aim was to conduct an improper purge of legitimate voters from the rolls in the second most populous state, which is inexorably moving from red to purple on the national political map thanks to urbanization and a steadily increasing Latino population.

Whitley developed his findings by comparing voter registration records against Department of Public Safety records of about 95,000 non-citizens with green cards or work visas who obtained driver's licenses. However, "in an advisory to election administrators and voter registrars on Friday, the secretary of state's director of elections said that 95,000 non-citizens with matching voter registrations should be considered 'WEAK' matches. The advisory used all capital letters," The Morning News reported.

© Issue One. All rights reserved.