Harris County Hiding Records on Non-Citizens Registering to Vote

Another Texas county is facing a federal lawsuit if it continues to deny access to public records of non-citizens found on its voter rolls.

Harris County was notified last week that it is violating federal law by refusing the Public Interest Legal Foundation’s request to inspect voter list maintenance records.

The National Voter Registration Act, also known as the “Motor Voter” law, requires local election officials to maintain accurate voter registration lists and allow public inspection of all records relating to list maintenance programs.

County officials denied PILF’s request pursuant to the NVRA to inspect records of non-citizens who registered to vote and then were later removed from the voter rolls after the county discovered they weren’t citizens.

It’s a violation of both federal and state law for non-citizens to register to vote.

“Harris County is hiding public information about the extent of non-citizen registration and voting,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Harris County is no stranger to the issue of noncitizen voter registration. Evidence and testimony about the matter have been provided to the Texas Legislature and U.S. Supreme Court. This isn’t a question about the existence of alien voting—but the scale.”

PILF says it will go to federal court if it must to obtain the public records.

Logan Churchwell, PILF Communications & Research Director, told Texas Scorecard that non-citizens registering and voting is a dual issue.

“There have been multiple, documented cases of local political operatives taking advantage of new immigrants to illegally register them to vote and then farm their mail ballots to the highest bidder,” Churchwell said. “Covering up this issue only makes local officials complicit in deportation proceedings that could’ve been prevented.”

“American citizens also see their voices cancelled out by fraud and illegal registration as well,” he added. “It’s no secret that this is a problem in Harris County. Let’s find out what causes it and why – in full detail. Stop hiding – open the books.”

Through County Attorney Vince Ryan’s office, the Harris County Voter Registrar denied PILF’s disclosure request on January 11. Despite clarification from PILF, the county wrongly responded to the request as if it were made pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act, rather than the NVRA. Under NVRA rules, county officials have 90 days from the violation date to allow PILF access to the records or face legal action.

PILF has successfully sued counties in Texas and other states for failing to comply with the NVRA. The law firm, which is dedicated entirely to election integrity, has also discovered non-citizens registering and voting in multiple states including Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Earlier this month, PILF put Bexar County on notice that it too will face a federal lawsuit if officials there continue to deny access to public voter list maintenance records.

The clock is ticking for counties to come clean on how many aliens are registering and voting in Texas.

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Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is the Metroplex Correspondent for Empower Texans & Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout the area. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.

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