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Texas Conducts Its Own Voter Purge

Texas Conducts Its Own Voter Purge

Think the targeted voter purge taking place in Florida is an isolated incident then consider Texas.

According to ThinkProgress, in a two year period 300,00 eligible voters were warned that they would be removed from Texas voter rolls. As it stands Texas voter registration rates are already among the lowest in the country with one of every 10 eligible voters’ registration currently suspended.

Throughout the state 21% of voters who receive purge letters later proved they were in fact eligible to vote.

The most common reason eligible voters were warned they would be removed from the rolls is because they failed to respond to general form letters questioning their eligibility or because they were mistaken for someone else.

The Houston Chronicle investigated the situation and found that the voter purges were conducted using outdated computer programs and faulty procedures. Every year thousands of voters receive requests by the state to verify voter information because they share a name with a voter who died, was convicted of a crime or claimed to be a non-citizen to avoid jury duty. Voters who fail to respond to these form letter requests for verifications, or those who never receive them, get dropped.

There’s a reason the Voting Rights Act had to be passed and it’s the same reason conservatives are fighting so hard against it today. Expansive voter enfranchisement and protections ensure truer representation of everyone’s interests. Widespread voter disenfranchisement in not just a stain on our democratic process, it’s a threat to our very democracy.

Related Stories:

Gov. Rick Scott Ignores DOJ Demand To End Voter Purge

Voting Rights Crisis Unfolding In Florida

Texas Serves Up Voting Rights Challenge To SCOTUS

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Photo from hjl via flickr.

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101 comments

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8:05PM PDT on Jun 6, 2012

LD-I am certainly in agreement on the dangers of the tyranny of the majority and the possibility of people being manipulated by lies and fear to vote against their own interest (look at what happened yesterday in Wisconsin), however that is one of the dangers of democracy. I shudder to think of presidential voting becoming the equivalent of voting for "American Idol" contestants.

The fact that in most states we have a "winner take all" electoral system makes the votes of millions of Americans inconsequential (i.e. every progressive voter in Alabama presidential vote means nothing because all the states electoral votes will go to the Republican candidate).

Presidential elections are now determined in an handful of "swing states" like, god help us, Florida. Al Gore should have been president in 2000 after winning by half a million votes but 527 (alleged) votes in Florida gave George W. Bush the presidency.

Perhaps a proportional method of awarding electoral votes (such as Maine and Nebraska use) would help alleviate the problem. Despite the dangers of popular voting in presidential elections,the electoral college is an outmoded idea that was developed because of a distrust of democracy and the common sense of the American voter.

7:42PM PDT on Jun 6, 2012

Jane-The electoral college is a holdover from back in the days of our founding fathers when democracy was not trusted. The great unwashed general population was not considered intelligent enough to be trusted with electing the most important positions and were only allowed to directly vote for state legislators and members of the house of representatives. The state legislators were the ones who chose the president (through the appointment of electors) and senators. You are right it is an obsolete concept. We fixed the problem with senators with the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913 and it is time we did away with the electoral college also.

7:36PM PDT on Jun 6, 2012

There should be no such thing as delegates from each state being to vote for our president. We need to go back to "popular vote". That is the only way people can actually have a say in who is elected. Why in the world can a man who gets less votes of the American people be elected President? This is not a way to run the election. Whoever gets the most votes of all the people in the U.S. is the one who should be our President. Electorial votes should be done away with.

11:07PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

Joseph-If you support fair elections you cannot support these voter "purges" and so-called "ID" laws which are intended to disenfranchise tens of thousands of legitimate voters.

10:15PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

What century are we in?

9:19PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

Yep, I have lived in a Texas county where the dead voted.....

8:34PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

I want elections to be fair- I don't want illegal alliens, dead people or folks that move from one polling place to another to vote more than once or comunity organizers from submitting fake names such as Bat man or Superman in voting rosters-
I want fair elections free from election fraud which was not the case in 2009-
I want voters to prove who they are to be able to vote- If we can't trust that elections are free and fair, we can't trust anything anymore!
So a toast to those that want free and fair elections with voter proof as to who they are! And shame to those that don't care to the point of defrauding and stealing elections through voter fraud! That is NOT what America was founded on!

6:46PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

POLITICS SUCK

6:39PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

Actually, American elections are hardly worth registering for and participating in. For goodness sakes, during the presidential elections, with this silly two party system you have a choice between two multimillionaires who would both qualify as rightwing Nazis in any European country. Every four years Americans rush out and cast votes with a choice between Franco and Mussolini. What's the point? In November, one gets to choose between a dyed in the wool republican named Obama and a nutcase named Romney who's so far to the right he makes Hitler look like a moderate. Furthermore, after one or the other gets into office, nothing ever changes: The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the world gets attacked by the US military right and left. The US could do this well by just appointing some multibillionaire as permanent king similar to the mess in the UK.

6:30PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

Hey Steve R how many times in one year does a citizen have to prove they are a legal citizen and have the right to vote?

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