Quick take: Clean up voter rolls before surging ranks

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Ahead of the legislative session, several election policy ideas are making the rounds. To date, there are more bad than good, but this, as in past sessions, will change.

This morning, Representative Donna Howard (D-Austin) suggested mandating the Secretary of State send voter registration materials to high schoolers.

Setting aside the “wisdom” of such a maneuver, it’s putting the cart before the proverbial horse.

Texas voter rolls, like those in many states, have been neglected for years. In large part, this is due to aggressive resistance, including vexatious litigation by Democrats and their allies.

Previously covered and part of this record of keeping voter rolls dirty are efforts to stop the removal of dead voters and non-citizens from the rolls.

Currently, list maintenance isn’t mandated and there’s no recourse for local officials derelict in their duty of securing the vote in Texas by keeping voter rolls clean. This must change.

A clearly defined process with an accountability mechanism is needed.

Don’t read what’s not written, this isn’t a generalization about the current state of play in every county in Texas.

There are some counties working to keep voter rolls in shape. Change of address, death, and felon removals are happening just not consistently across the state.

Before aggressively adding to the size of voter rolls, an action in search of a problem as more than 80% of Texans are registered to vote, Texas must clean up the rolls as they are currently constituted.

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