In Texas, a Closer Look at Illegals on Voter Rolls



Calling out election fraud in Dallas County, a Texas state senator wants voter registration rolls purged of illegal aliens and non-citizens.

Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, cited research showing 356 non-citizens voted in Dallas County between September 1999 and March 2007.

The problem goes farther and deeper.

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.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton now reports that “the process of removing ineligible voters who self-report as non-citizens at jury duty is not being followed correctly, or even at all, in various counties.”

Last year, Rosa Maria Ortega, 37, a Mexican national living in a Dallas suburb, was sentenced to eight years in prison for illegally voting in elections in 2012 and 2014. She faces deportation.

Such convictions have been rare, but Huffines said he is “confident” that local district attorneys will prosecute more cases.

“We will not allow non-citizens and illegal immigrants to shape our future or cancel out the vote of a registered citizen,” he said.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation is currently wrangling with Harris County, the state’s largest, to obtain voting records there. When the county balked, PILF sued under the federal Freedom of Information Act. After Paxton’s office affirmed the legality of PILF’s request, the county countersued in state court to block the inquiry.

Huffines said this week that he will file legislation requiring verification of citizenship by voter-registration applicants in Texas.

PILF applauded the idea. Only Kansas has such a requirement, which is tied up in court with legal challenges.

“Texas could be a perfect proving ground,” PILF spokesman Logan Churchwell said.

Meantime, Texas could take an intermediate step that doesn’t require an act of the biennial state Legislature, which doesn’t reconvene until 2019. (If the 2017 session was any indication, Huffines will face a cool reception.)

Texas’s Secretary of State Office, which oversees the voter rolls, does not cross-reference its database with the Department of Public Safety. By administrative order, Texas could adopt Virginia’s policy of referring identity and residency information required on driver’s license applications to the state elections office.

Such screening could begin tomorrow, without waiting for the Legislature.

“Just by having the Secretary of State and DPS talk to each other, you could [remove non-citizens from the voter rolls]with less effort and less cost,” Churchwell noted.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

4 Comments

  1. avatar

    We are a country of laws which you can not change to fit the occasion if you are undocumented and prove place of birth you can not vote go home and vote

  2. avatar

    There are constant charges that measures to ensure voters are properly registered are just an attempt to deny voting rights to minorities. Yet no one has actually come up with cases where it’s happened. Almost every state has private or public programs to assist low income people to obtain proper identification including birth certificates. You were born in this country or you entered legally. There is a record of that somewhere.

    The problem is that a lot of the time people want to wait until the last minute to register or to change their voting precinct. In those cases, people are entitled to cast a provisional ballot, which is validated and opened in a close race. Why any local government would have a problem with others looking at voter lists is a mystery. Check that. It’s no mystery. They want illegals to be able to vote.

  3. avatar

    It’s just common sense, that you would have voter I’D laws. Anyone who say it’s unconstitutional and goes against the ilderly, and minorities, is not telling the truth. The system is not setup for foreign invaders. You as a United States citizen, can not vote in another foreign country.

  4. avatar

    US jails will need to be expanded after catching those illegal voters, the more burden the taxpayers will be experiencing and less money to take home every month. How could this be allowed? WDYS?

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