Sunday, October 07, 2012

Texas Republicans And Voter Suppression: Purging The Possibly Dead

In a very Halloween take on Republicans' voter suppression tactics, Republican Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade recently directed county voting officials in Texas to send out letters to about 80,000 voters supposedly suspected of being deceased and requiring that they prove they are still living or be purged from voter registration rolls.  Many county clerks around the state balked at this, since about 68,000 of the voters were identified as being possibly dead based on very weak data, such as having the same birth date and last four SSN digits as a deceased person, which means practically nothing in a state the size of Texas.

The voters targeted for letters seemed to have an amazing correlation with voters living in African American neighborhoods in Texas.  What a strange coincidence.

Four living voters who were told that they would have to prove they were alive in order to not be purged from the voter registration rolls sued the state and Texas has now settled the lawsuit, agreeing that county officials will have to verify that someone is dead before purging them from the rolls rather than randomly forcing poor or minority voters to prove that they are alive in order to stay on them.

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