A lawsuit filed on Monday has claimed that hundreds of noncitizens are registered to vote in Harris County, Texas, according to Fox26 in Houston.
Noncitizens Registered For Decades
The lawsuit, filed in Houston by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), seeks to remove noncitizens who are currently registered from the voter roll, and seeks to ensure no more are added to it in the future.
According to the PILF, image documents show some noncitizens were registered “for several years before the error was identified and corrected.”
“In essence what we have here is evidence of people saying they are not U.S. citizens on voter registration records in Harris County, and yet they are becoming registered voters anyway,” said Logan Churchwell, spokesman for the PILF.
According to Fox26, “The documentation shows the noncitizen’s registration was usually revoked years later.”
FOX 26: Hundreds of non-citizens registered to vote in Harris County, alleges lawsuit by Public Interest Legal Foundation
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) September 29, 2020
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PILF: Lawful Immigrants May Be Punished For Doing Nothing Wrong
The PILF claims they had to sue in federal court, because the office of Harris County Registrar Ann Harris Bennett declined to provide the requested records.
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“Over 2017 to 2018 we requested these records,” Churchwell said. “We had to file a federal lawsuit because we were denied.”
Churchwell further claims that an error such as incorrectly being placed on a voter registration roll could cause law-abiding immigrants to be deported through no fault of their own:
Same thing if someone were to register to vote improperly at the DPS getting a driver’s license.
If the DPS wasn’t careful and gave you that voter registration form, then it’s going to cascade into the voter registration system, and it will come back to bite you in the immigration system.
But you the end user – the immigrant, whomever – you’re the one that’s going to pay the price, not the people who weren’t doing their jobs correctly.
Bennett’s office originally refused an interview request with Fox 26, but eventually supplied a short statement to the media.
“The Harris County Voter Registrar successfully maintains 2.4 million Harris County voter records,” the statement read.
The Registar’s office also appeared to deny the validity of any of PILF’s claims:
After reviewing these records, the Public Interest Legal Foundation claims an average of approximately 134 applicants per year had some problem related to United States citizenship.
All of these applications were caught, and there is no allegation that anyone who is not a citizen is currently registered to vote.
A conservative activist in Houston, the Harris County Republican party and a number of Republican officials and candidates are asking the Texas Supreme Court to limit in-person and absentee voting options for Harris County voters during the pandemic. https://t.co/tioEuZn6b1
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) September 28, 2020
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