Governor ‘Driving Force’ Behind Program to Wrongly Purge Up to 100,000 Rightful Voters From Texas Rolls: Report
“We have an urgent request from the governor’s office to do it again.”
Back in January, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott announced he believes in charging those who commit voter fraud. “I support prosecution where appropriate,” Abbott said. His Attorney General, Ken Paxton had just posted a “VOTER FRAUD ALERT” on Twitter.
Thanks to Attorney General Paxton and the Secretary of State for uncovering and investigating this illegal vote registration. I support prosecution where appropriate. The State will work on legislation to safeguard against these illegal practices. #txlege #tcot https://t.co/UwtyXijVwK
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 25, 2019
The Texas Secretary of State had claimed in an advisory that 95,000 registered voters in the Lone Star State were actually not U.S. citizens, and that a whopping 58,000 had recently voted.
It was all false. Maybe even a lie. It perhaps could even be called fraud.
“Gov. Greg Abbott’s office was a driving force in the state’s program to purge nearly 100,000 suspected non-U.S. citizens from Texas’ voter rolls,” the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday reports. Months after making the false claims, the program to disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters was “scrapped…after the state settled lawsuits challenging it, and after Secretary of State officials publicly admitted they included flawed data showing tens of thousands of naturalized citizens were on the purge list.”
Emails revealing Governor Abbott was behind the purge were just released.
The data the Secretary of State used to construct the list of voters to be purged from the rolls wrongly included legal permanent residents who later become naturalized U.S. citizens. The governor’s program would have removed them.
“The bottom line is this was the governor’s program,” said Luis Vera, the national general counsel for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Vera also accused Gov. Abbott of throwing David Whitley, Abbott’s nominee to become Secretary of State, and Dept. of Public Safety Secretary Steve McCraw “under the bus. All along it was the governor pushing for (the program).”
The Chronicle adds that in “an August 2018 email from John Crawford, a top official of the driver’s license division at the Texas Department of Public Safety, to an employee, Crawford said DPS had run data of licensed drivers to compare to state voter rolls before, and “we have an urgent request from the governor’s office to do it again.”
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MAGA Rally Activist Threatens Driver to Vote for Trump: ‘We Know Who You Are – We Got Your Plates and We Got You’
“You’re going to vote for Trump whether you like it or not. You got no choice!”
At a grassroots roadside rally for President Donald Trump in Beverly Hills, supporters waved huge American flags, a QAnon conspiracy cult flag, banners that said “Trump 2020,” and “Californians for Trump,” and handmade and printed signs that read “Asians for Trump,” “Latinos for Trump,” and “Challenge your beliefs.”
One social media user filmed the event from inside a car, capturing a man who threatened them to vote for President Trump.
“We got you now,” said the man, pointing a small sword with a Trump flag at the end towards the driver. “Your mother voted for Trump.”
“Your mother loves Trump – I asked her. We got your plates – we got you,” the Trump supporters says, as a young woman in a tight-fitting tank top emblazoned with the American flag and holding a Trump flag over her shoulder walks by, giving the driver the finger.
The man walks to the front of the car, points, and returns to the passenger window.
“We got your plates baby. We know who you are now. You’re going to vote for Trump whether you like it or not. You got no choice!”
“You cannot resist Trump, we got you. We f*cking got you,” he threatens.
As the car drives off a man, off camera says, “We got her plates.”
Trump supporters in Beverly Hills threaten people if they don’t vote for Trump pic.twitter.com/d8CBtP2Xh7
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) October 28, 2020
A CNN Senior National Security Correspondent weighed in:
Last week the head of US intel and the FBI warned about emails from Iran that threatened voters to vote for Trump “or else.” Here’s a Trump supporter doing that irl. “We know who you are now, you’re gonna vote for Trump whether you like it or not.” (via @DefenseBaron) https://t.co/ujHuhkrQT3
— Alexander Marquardt (@MarquardtA) October 28, 2020
Threatening strangers is a novel way to run a grassroots persuasion campaign. https://t.co/hwMyYtut7e
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) October 28, 2020
A few more responses:
I was with my mom and dad when as Black people they voted for the first time. I was young and I remember horrible racists acts through my childhood. I have NEVER seen voter intimidation at the polls like this in my life. https://t.co/6CRZauReqS
— Nikki Now💛🐝 (@NikkiNikkinow2) October 28, 2020
This is called VOTER INTIMIDATION and it’s ILLEGAL. https://t.co/0VWd8ZR4fO
— TheOneAndOnlyRichie 🏳️🌈🇮🇹🇺🇸 (@The1OnlyRichie) October 28, 2020
This is the face of the full-blown kakistocracy that awaits us if Trump is re-elected. It looks like a nation hijacked by crackpots and degenerates. It looks like a nation where the most morally and intellectually defective people have seized the helm of the ship of state. https://t.co/8s2XlHkNem
— Xander Eustice-Corwin (@ec_xander) October 28, 2020
Domestic terrorism plain and simple! https://t.co/agia6cgZVt
— Keith Gilman (@KeithGilman3) October 28, 2020
Texas GOP Governor Abbott to Deploy 1000 National Guard Troops for Election
In a disturbing and possibly unprecedented move Republican Governor Greg Abbott will deploy 1000 National Guard troops into Texas cities for the presidential election next week.
“The Texas Army National Guard said Monday it had been ordered to dispatch 1,000 troops to five major cities around the state in conjunction with the Nov. 3 election,” MySanAntonio.com reports.
“The guard in recent weeks had told the San Antonio Express-News that its commander, Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, had been asked to draft contingency plans in case of trouble at polling places in major cities around the state.”
Express-News reports Democratic “strongholds” will be receiving the Guard units, including San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth.
“We have not been asked to go to any polling locations as of yet. Now that could change, leading up to the election or after the election,” a Texas Army National Guard spokesperson says.
Abbott has not released any information on this plan which some see as authoritarian voter intimidation.
The Texas governor is already under fire after reducing ballot boxes to just one per county.
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
Texas Voter Intimidation Bill Targets Elderly, Disabled, and Most Vulnerable
Texas Republican State Senator Bryan Hughes‘ bill on “election integrity” is a clear attack on voting rights, get out the vote efforts, and preys on the most vulnerable voters. Senate Bill 9 passed the Senate last month, and is a priority for the very powerful Texas Lt. Governor, far right wing ideologue and Trump supporter Dan Patrick, to become law. He claims it “protects our democracy.”
Here’s just a few of the ways SB 9 harms voters, especially those who need help the most.
SB 9 increases the penalty for making a simple mistake on a voter registration form. If SB 9 becomes law, voters who make a mistake on their voter form could go to jail, civil rights groups say.
Cinde Weatherby of the non-partisan League of Women Voters of Texas says portions of SB 9 are “attacks on our civil liberties.”
Zenén Jaimes Pérez, advocacy director for the Texas Civil Rights Project, told The San Antonio Current, “This legislation magnifies the voter suppression tactics that [Texas politicians] have been pursuing for the last couple of years.”
The bill also makes it harder for an elderly or disabled voter who requires assistance to vote.
It makes it illegal for, say, a friend to drive 3 or more voters who are “physically unable to enter the polling place without personal assistance” and therefore request a poll worker’s assistance to bring “a ballot to the voter at the polling place entrance or curb,” unless they fill out and sign an affidavit attesting to the voters’ inability to enter the polling location without help.
Who is going to want to sign an affidavit – including their name and address – when they’re just doing a few friends a favor by driving them to the polls?
Here’s how SB 9 mandates that this new process be fulfilled:
A person who assists at least three voters voting under this section at the same time by providing the voters with transportation to the polling place must complete and sign a form
(1) requires the person to affirm that the voters are
physically unable to enter the polling place without personal
assistance or likelihood of injuring their health; and
(2) contains the following information:
(A) the person’s name and address; and
(B) whether the person is providing assistance to
the voters solely under this section or under both this section and
(f) Subsection (e) does not apply to a person if the person
is a family member of all voters that the person provides with
transportation to the polling place. For purposes of this
subsection, “family member” has the meaning assigned by Section
(g) The secretary of state shall prescribe the form
described by Subsection (e).
In case there’s any question that the intent of the bill is to discourage legal voters from voting, the original text of that portion of the bill applied to just one voter in need of assistance.
A person who assists a voter voting under this section by providing the voter with transportation to the polling place must complete and sign a form that:
(1) requires the person to affirm that the voter is physically unable to enter the polling place without personal assistance or likelihood of injuring the voter’s health; and
(2) contains the following information:
(A) the person’s name and address; and
(B) whether the person is providing assistance
solely under this section or under both this section and Subchapter
(f) The secretary of state shall prescribe the form
described by Subsection (e).
The Texas House has until May 27 to pass the bill.
Want to know more? The Texas Civil Rights Project has an explainer for SB 9.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated SB 9 would apply to a voter driving any friends to the polls. That section of SB 9 applies only to those needing assistance from poll workers.
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