AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Secretary of State David Whitley issued an advisory to county voter registrars on Friday regarding voter registration list maintenance -- including identifying any registered Texas voters who are not U.S. citizens.
The Secretary of State's Office said it has worked with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) for the last year to evaluate information regarding whether any people identified to be non-U.S. citizens are registered as voters in Texas.
The Secretary of State's Office said their evaluation revealed that "approximately 95,000 individuals identified by DPS as non-U.S. citizens have a matching voter registration record in Texas, approximately 58,000 of whom have voted in one or more Texas elections."
The Secretary of State's Office said they immediately provided this data to the Texas Attorney General's Office.
Secretary Whitley issued the following statement regarding the evaluation:
"Integrity and efficiency of elections in Texas require accuracy of our state's voter rolls, and my office is committed to using all available tools under the law to maintain an accurate list of registered voters. Our agency has provided extensive training opportunities to county voter registrars so that they can properly perform list maintenance activities in accordance with federal and state law, which affords every registered voter the chance to submit proof of eligibility. I would like to thank the Department of Public Safety for providing us with this valuable information so that we can continue to guarantee the right to vote for all eligible Texas voters, who should not have their voices muted by those who abuse the system."
The Secretary of State's Office said, going forward, it will "use information it obtains from DPS on a monthly basis to cross-reference with the statewide voter registration database and match potential non-U.S. citizens who have registered to vote." Once a voter registration is identified as a match, the office will notify the county that person is registered in.
The Secretary of State's Office said the following combinations of matches between information in DPS-provided data and Texas' voter registration database are used to identify possible non-citizens who are registered to vote:
- Last name, first name and full social security number
- Last name, first name and DPS-issued driver's license, personal ID card or election ID certificate number
- Last name, first name, last four digits of Social Security number and date of birth
If a registered voter is found to be a non-citizen, they should receive a Notice of Examination from the county voter registrar letting them know their registration status is being examined on the grounds that they are not a U.S. citizen. The voter will then be required to provide proof of citizenship by submitting the registrar a certified copy of their birth certificate, a copy of their U.S. passport or a copy of their certificate of naturalization.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted the following Friday afternoon, regarding the findings of the Secretary of State's Office:
KVUE received the following statement from Governor Greg Abbott:
“Illegal voting in Texas will not be tolerated, and as Governor, I will continue root it out and punish it. Safeguarding the integrity of our elections is of utmost importance to the state of Texas. I am pleased Secretary Whitley is taking quick and decisive action to ensure only those who are in the United States legally are participating in our elections.”
The communications director for the Secretary Whitley, Sam Taylor, said they are confident about the numbers and want voter rolls to be accurate.
“Any ineligible vote cast cancels out the vote of an eligible voter," Taylor said. "So, making sure that only people who were qualified to vote in the state of Texas -- make sure that everybody who’s eligible can have their voice heard – and it's not going to get canceled out by someone who’s not a US citizen who managed to slip through the cracks to register to vote here."