A lawsuit filed on Monday alleged that, according to Fox26 Houston, hundreds of non-citizens are registered to vote in Harris County, Texas.
Non-citizens registered for decades
The lawsuit, filed in Houston by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), aims to remove non-citizens currently enrolled from the electoral roll and ensure they are not added in the future.
According to PILF, photo documents show that some non-citizens "were registered for several years before the bug was identified and corrected".
"In essence, what we have evidence here is that people say they are not US citizens on Harris County voter registration and yet they become registered voters," said Logan Churchwell, spokesman for the PILF.
According to Fox26, "the non-citizen's documentation was usually revoked years later."
FOX 26: Hundreds of non-citizens registered to vote in Harris County claim the Public Interest Legal Foundation has filed a lawsuit
– Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) September 29, 2020
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PILF: Legal immigrants can be punished for not doing anything wrong
The PILF claims they are due to sue in federal court because Harris County Registrar Ann Harris Bennett's office declined to provide the requested records.
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"We requested these records from 2017 to 2018," Churchwell said. "We had to file a federal lawsuit because we were refused."
Churchwell goes on to claim that a mistake like incorrectly listing on a voter registration list could result in law-abiding immigrants being deported through no fault of their own:
The same applies if someone registers in order to not vote properly with the DPS and to obtain a driver's license.
If the DPS was not careful and gave you this voter registration form, it will leak into the voter registration system and bite you into the immigration system.
But you are the end user – the immigrant, whoever – you are the one who pays the price, not the people who didn't do their job right.
Bennett's office originally turned down an interview request with Fox 26 but eventually made a brief statement to the media.
"The Harris County Voter Registrar successfully maintains 2.4 million Harris County voter records," the statement said.
The Registar's office also appeared to deny the validity of PILF claims:
After reviewing these records, the Public Interest Legal Foundation claims that an average of 134 applicants per year have had problems with United States citizenship.
All of these motions have been intercepted and there is no allegation that anyone who is not a national is currently on the vote.
A Conservative activist in Houston, the Harris County Republican Party, and a number of Republican officials and candidates are calling on the Texas Supreme Court to restrict voting options for Harris County voters during the pandemic. https://t.co/tioEuZn6b1
– Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) September 28, 2020
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