Time to Clean Up Voter Rolls

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Texas voter rolls are in a state of neglect and it’s time for the legislature to take action. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) has presented a couple of important measures, House Bills 3576 and 3578, to ensure voter rolls are maintained more accurately.

Laid out in committee last week, Klick’s 3576 requires voter registrars to conduct list maintenance. While most Texans assume this activity is ongoing and mandated, it isn’t.

For instance, when a voter registrar receives a list of potential non-citizens registered to vote in Texas elections, they can process the list or as we’ve recently seen, delay and hope to ignore the list and associated work. We’ve previously written, this isn’t the first time counties have resisted efforts to clean up voter rolls.

In 2012, then Secretary of State Hope Andrade initiated a list clean up effort aimed at identifying and removing deceased voters from the rolls. The list used was the Social Security death master file. As they are doing in 2019, Democrats and allied groups on the left worked to stop this routine exercise labeling it “suppression.” The counties in that instance pushed back as well.

Counties appear to oppose large scale efforts as well as ongoing and manageable efforts as envisioned by Klick’s HB 3567.

Last week Chris Davis, elections administrator for Williamson County and president of the Texas Association of Elections Administrators, testified in opposition to Klick’s bill. Davis’ micro fig leaf for such a stance, cost.

Davis during his testimony incorrectly characterized list maintenance activities as “goose chases” and “fishing expeditions.” Davis’ mischaracterizations further damage trust that the upkeep of voter rolls is being adequately pursued.

Unfortunately, Davis’ position works well for the left who are uninterested in properly maintaining voter rolls. In states like California, leftists have begun advocating for voting by non-citizens. Getting to this end is easier when list maintenance is ignored and efforts to do so maligned.

Bills with similar list maintenance aims were heard yesterday in the Texas Senate by the State Affairs Committee chaired by Joan Huffman (R-Houston).

Last month, Dallas based WFAA reported that an investigation had lead to the discovery of hundreds if not thousands of felons, who are ineligible to vote, registered and voting. This research was conducted following the November 2018 midterm elections.

HB 3578 would streamline the process of removing felons serving a sentence from the voter rolls by cutting the Department of Public Safety out of the current game of telephone being run to remove felons from the rolls.

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