Texas Federal Judge Orders Stop To Voter Purge
Nation’s Largest and Oldest Latino Civil Rights Organization Calls Decision By Judge Fred Biery A Clear Step In the Right Direction To Protect Lawful Citizens
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) announced Wednesday that San Antonio Federal Judge Fred Biery has ordered a temporary halt to county elections officials statewide purging voters from their rolls or sending them letters requiring recipients to prove they are U.S. citizens.
“There is no voter fraud and today’s court decision is a clear victory for civil rights justice led by LULAC together with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Texas Civil Rights Project and the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF),” said Domingo Garcia, National President. “Judge Biery’s order proves the actions by Texas Secretary of State David Whitley and Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General to purge 98,000 names from voter rolls, including Latinos are part of a deliberate voter suppression plan and will not be tolerated,” he added.
The court stated that Texas can continue monitoring voter applications for any irregularities and send monthly lists of names to counties, but letters or steps to purge voters based on the list without court approval is prohibited. However, in a strongly worded statement, Judge Biery made it clear where responsibility was being placed for the confusion in this matter. Biery said Whitley's office "created this mess." Only 80 of the original 98,000 names on the list have been identified as being ineligible to vote, according to his ruling.
Garcia denounced efforts by Texas officials to carry out such a wholesale exclusion of voters who committed no crime. “LULAC supports elections that are held according to the law and represent the values reflected by our constitution,” stated Garcia. “Simply put, win elections fair and square and do not be manipulating or rigging the process so that you deny any voter their guaranteed right to be part of a fair and equitable democracy,” he added.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org