5 Takeaways From David Whitley’s Confirmation Hearing

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Secretary of State David Whitley is a competent public servant who managed to answer difficult, at times combative, questions during his confirmation hearing this morning.

Media coverage of the hearing is slanted to fit leftwing narratives, an observation that characterizes most reporting of this process since mid-January. Here five key takeaways sure to be ignored by liberal reporters.

95,000 is a subset
The incoming Secretary in his testimony confirmed that in 2018 a much larger list of potentially illegally registered voters was compiled. Working with a vendor and DPS the SoS worked to lower the undisclosed but much larger number to around 95,000. This more manageable list was released to counties to verify citizenship in January.

A larger list of voters who are registered and potentially voting could contain individuals whose data is not on file with the DPS or SoS. This could include among others, individuals who have moved to Texas, are deceased, or are illegal immigrants.

The individuals in the initial list appear to be who we thought they were, legal resident non-citizens who registered to vote, and voted at some time. Registration and voting may have taken place before or after naturalization which is information the DPS and SoS don’t have but is information that counties either have or can verify.

Speaking about county data…

Counties have citizenship data
A question that has arisen over the last couple of weeks, “How are counties processing voters off of this list so quickly?” According to Whitley’s testimony, many counties have access to more or at least different data than the SoS and DPS.

Specifically, counties appear to be tracking naturalizations in databases. Given this information, there are several questions that can be put to counties such as, where is this information coming from, is maintaining such data within the county’s purview, is this information being shared and should if so has access been given to the SoS and DPS?

Counties knew this was coming
A major issue highlighted throughout the hearing was the 10 training sessions that counties underwent before receiving lists of potential non-citizens voters. This confirms what we’ve heard from county employees, they knew this was coming.

This isn’t the public face that counties put forth after the SoS released its data. Counties acted as if they were blindsided by the release and would have a difficult time processing the information. Again, they knew it was coming and were trained.

Duplicitous statements from county officials has played a large role in the backlash to this list maintenance activity.

Nobody should be disenfranchised
Senator Lois Kolkhorst put an important question to Whitley, if voters are mistakenly removed from the voter roll, will they be allowed to vote? The answer from Whitley, yes.

Voters who are mistakenly removed from the voter roll can cast a provisional ballot, have their vote count, and be reinstated to the roll. This is something that we’ve previously pointed out but has gone uncovered by a media complicit in sensationalizing what should be routine voter roll maintenance.

Everyone had a say
The hearing was Chaired by Senator Dawn Buckingham who did a good job of maintaining order and letting everyone mount their respective soapboxes.

Senator Bob Hall (R) requested that Whitley end the use of issuing waivers, specifically for printing ballot tapes ahead of and after elections.

Austin based Senator Kirk Watson (D) did the heavy lifting of cross-examining Whitley. These efforts went unrewarded.

The League of Women Voters, a party to the most recent lawsuit filed against the state seeking an injunction, was present. Today, LWV affiliated testimony was given regarding registering voters at naturalization ceremonies and involvement in the training for election administrators.

The LWV is not an unencumbered third party. Activities by the group will need to be scrutinized.

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