While passing the toughest anti-sanctuary law in the nation, Texas legislators did nothing to prevent noncitizens from voting in the Lone Star State.
With 2 million noncitizens holding Texas drivers licenses, and an unknown number on the state’s voting rolls via motor-voter, lawmakers weighed several bills to tighten ballot security.
Senate Bill 136 by Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, and House Bill 3474 by Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Little Elm, would have required the Texas secretary of state to use the Department of Public Safety database to verify citizenship before granting voting privileges. Both bills died.
“For those seeking voter-roll integrity, it doesn’t get much more simple than making sure all voters are citizens,” said JoAnn Fleming, president of Grassroots America, a conservative activist group in Tyler.
Republican leaders in Texas took a tough stand against sanctuary cities by imposing civil penalties on local officials who fail to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
On election security, Attorney General Ken Paxton declared that local registrars were “complicit” in allowing voter fraud. But GOP leaders went limp at the Legislature. Without imposing citizenship verification provisions, the sprawling border state leaves itself open for mischief at the ballot box.
Another commonsense bill — HB 521 by Rep. Mike Schofield, R-Houston – would automatically cancel the voter registrations of any individuals who acknowledge their noncitizen status. Even that was too much for House Republicans, who let the bill die in committee.
“Make no mistake, this is not a scheme that can be attributed to Democrats alone,” Fleming asserted. “When anti-voter fraud bills can’t even get a hearing in a committee chaired by a Republican we are no better than a banana republic.”
In 2015, the election-watch group True the Vote, found eight Texas counties had more registered voters than voting-age adults. Most of the counties were in the Rio Grande Valley, along the Mexican border.
Earlier this year, a 37-year-old green card holder from Mexico was sentenced to eight years in prison for voting illegally in two elections in Dallas County.
“It is relatively easy for aliens to commit voter fraud through the motor-voter system,” FAIR reported. “When renewing a driver’s license by mail, they simply check the boxes indicating that they wish to be registered as voters and affirming that they are a U.S. citizen. Most often, they are added to the voter rolls without any attempt to verify the applicant’s citizenship.”