Texas voters sue state officials over list of possible non-citizens
A group of Texas voters filed a federal lawsuit against state officials after their names showed up on a list saying they may not be citizens.
The voters believe the list was compiled in an effort to intimidate voters.
“I assumed I was on the list, but then when you get the call it defiantly threw me off,” said Julieta Garibay.
Garibay was one of the 95,000 names on the Texas voter roll that was sent out by Secretary of State David Whitley last month. His office wanted local election officials to remove people from the registered voter rolls who the office suspected weren’t U.S. citizens.
The Secretary of State's office put together a list of people who registered for a state ID as a non citizen in the past 20 years but who had also registered to vote in that time frame -- that’s how the office got a list of 95,000 names.
The list spurred a tweet from Attorney General Ken Paxton starting with “VOTER FRAUD ALERT.”
“You just went out there and sounded an alarm just to scare people,” said Garibay.
About 48 hours into her newly minted U.S. citizenship Garibay ran a 10K in Austin. After she crossed the finish line, she registered to vote.
In September, she renewed her driver’s license. And last week she got a call from the voter registrar’s office saying she was on the list.
“It was frustrating,” she said about getting the call.
Travis County voter registrar, Bruce Elfant, is looking into the state’s list. He already said 1,300 shouldn’t have been on the list.
Garibay is now joining six other voters and voting rights groups who filed a federal lawsuit against Whitley, Paxton and Governor Greg Abbott.
The lawsuit argues the list violates the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause and the federal voting rights act.
“If it wasn’t that important, why would they go to these lengths to take away our right, it’s even more our duty to go out and vote. Especially, the moments we’re living in,” said Garibay.