By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
Marion County’s share of the 95,000 Texas voters the Secretary of State’s office wanted local registrars to verify last week as citizens was five. Then, it was none.
“On first day we had five,” Marion County Registrar Karen Jones said. “Then we got the email from ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) asking us to think about it before we do anything.”
Of the five, Jones said three had never voted and the two who had voted had Anglo names. One voter she knew personally. Marion County has more than 7,000 registered voters.
“This is a small county,” Jones said. “Everyone knows everyone else.” If this was a test, Jones thought she knew the answer.
“I don’t believe they were truly non-citizens,” she said. Then came the order to stand down. “We did get a call from the Secretary of State’s office, and they wanted us to not process (investigate) anyone with a particular source code. These five had that source code,” Jones revealed.
Jones explained the source code identified where the voter had registered. All five had registered through the Texas Department of Public Safety when they received their driver’s licenses. If the request from Austin had remained in force, Jones said she would have had trouble complying.
“We have no way to investigate citizenship,” Jones said.
When a person registers to vote, the county office does verify the identity of the person with a photo ID. The citizenship verification is handled by the Secretary of State’s office.
“The person wanting to register has to go through a life check,” Jones said. “They have to provide a Texas driver’s license number or identification number, or SS number. What happens is when we enter into the system and the state does a life check and runs through several different sources and proves they are a citizen.”
Each office must depend on others in the system to do their part. “We have to rely on DPS to do its due diligence,” Jones said. The registrar also questioned why someone would risk voting illegally. “I heard of one man in Tarrant County who was sentenced to eight years in prison and then was to be deported,” Jones said.
Some now question whether the Secretary of State’s office had properly vetted the 95,000 names before sending them to county registrars.
State Rep. Rafael Anchia, who chairs the House Mexican American Legislative Caucus, said he asked Secretary of State David Whitley if the Secretary knew for certain that any of the 95,000 people on the list had voted illegally.
“No,” Whitley answered, according to what Anchia told reporters. “And I said, ‘Well, isn’t it the protocol that you investigate and, if you find facts, you turn it over to the AG? ”Despite the sketchy evidence, Gov. Greg Abbott and President Donald Trump hailed the discovery.“
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,” Abbott tweeted.
“58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas, with 95,000 non-citizens registered to vote. These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. All over the country, especially in California, voter fraud is rampant. Must be stopped. Strong voter ID! @foxandfriends,” Trump put on Twitter.
According to published reports, the Secretary of State’s office used a controversial cross check of voter lists and driver license data to develop the 95,000 names.
Both Colorado and Florida had tried similar procedures with poor results. A group of Latino voters has filed a lawsuit in Corpus Christi federal court alleging the citizenship checks violate their rights.
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