Voter Purge Efforts in Texas and Colo. Found to Wrongfully Target Legitimate Voters
Hysterical efforts to rid state voter rolls of “dead” or “noncitizen” voters before the November election has raised more red flags than actual fraudulent registrations. This week, voter purge efforts have been halted or postponed in Colorado and Texas for overwhelmingly targeting legitimate voters.
In Harris County, Texas, nine thousand citizens were warned that their “voter registrations may be cancelled before Election Day because they might be dead.” When Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and voter registrar Don Sumners received 300 complaints from voters who said they were very much alive, he decided to postpone the Secretary of State’s voter purge effort.
“We’re not even going to process any of the cancellations until after the election. Because we’ve gotten such a response from people that say that they are still alive,” he said in a Think Progress report.
Another voter purge effort, led by Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, has lost steam after almost 90 percent of the 4,000 voters who were flagged as “noncitizens” were verified. Think Progress reports that Gessler still plans to turn 141 names that are still in question to county clerks, “who may challenge them at the polls or when they receive absentee ballots.”
While it is important to keep voter rolls clean, state officials should make sure eligible citizens are not wrongfully blocked from voting, particularly before an election. Learn more about how states can maintain current and accurate voter rolls here.