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Official behind Texas’ botched voter purge resigns prior to a forced exit

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley, who sparked a national debate when his office made a failed attempt to purge nearly 100,000 people from the state's voter rolls, resigned on Monday.

Even without the resignation, Whitley, a Republican, would have lost his job this week anyway because the state Senate had failed to approve his nomination before the end of the legislative session. Twelve Democrats blocked the confirmation of Whitley, a Republican, because of the failed attempt to purge the voter rolls.

In January, he had garnered national attention when he announced the startling results of an investigation: 95,000 noncitizens were registered to vote and 58,000 of those people had voted in at least one election in recent years.

The claims even caught the eye of President Trump, who claimed voter fraud was "rampant" across the country.

But Whitley was forced to walk back his claims a few days later after discovering that thousands of those he had mentioned were actually citizens.

Several voting rights groups filed lawsuits over the attempt to remove voters and a federal judge in one of the cases ruled there was no evidence of widespread fraud. The cases were settled in April.

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