More than 2,000 potential voters in Texas had their voter registration applications rejected by the Texas Secretary of State, according to Vote.org, a national voters advocacy organization.
The voters will be barred from voting in the midterm elections unless they resubmit updated applications with new signatures on them, according to the Texas Secretary of State.
Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins, who challenges the voter purge said, “Senator Ted Cruz is still fighting for his political life down there in the state of Texas. And in an attempt to kind of help him out a little bit, the state election authorities have been purging thousands of newly registered voters from the voting roles.”
Vote.org, a nonpartisan organization, said it helped 2,400 Texans submit their registration applications, using digital photographs of their signatures.
Texas officials say the photographed signatures do not comply with state laws, which require a handwritten signature that cannot be a copy, digital signature or photograph of a signature, according to Sam Taylor, a spokesman for the Texas Secretary of State’s office.
“Our Elections Division instructed Vote.org to change their process immediately in order to comply with state law and avoid misleading Texas voters into submitting invalid registration forms,” Taylor said.
Cousins challenges the Texas Secretary of State office’s actions. “Now, Texas law does not require a signature on your voter registration. That means that not only were they purging thousands of voters, they were purging them illegally from the voting roles. And they did it, this Republican controlled state, because they understand that if you get rid of the young voters, you get rid of the new voters, you get rid of the people who clearly want to participate in the process and you’re going to help Republicans by doing it,” he said.
“By getting them out of there, you help Republicans. And at a time when Ted Cruz is kind of consistently tied statistically with his opponent, Beto O’Rourke, that’s a perfect time to purge voters that might push O’Rourke over the edge and finally unseat Ted Cruz,” Cousins said.
Texas is reporting a record surge in voter registration heading into the 2018 elections. The state last week reported 15.6 million voters are registered for the midterm elections — nearly 1.6 million voters more than in the 2014 midterm election.
The chief operating officer for Vote.org, Raven Brooks, said the state’s actions explain why Texas has some of the worst voter registration and voter participation rates in the nation. He says the Secretary of State’s office “throws up roadblocks to that participation.”
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Robin Carnevale is a News Writer at Hill Reporter. With a degree in journalism and hankering for all things political, she strives to provide balanced coverage of breaking news. You can reach her at Robin@HillReporter.com.