(INDIANAPOLIS, IN.) – October 23, 2018: the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today commends the Texas Secretary of State’s decision to refer the Rio Grande Valley noncitizen voter registration mailer matter to Attorney General Ken Paxton.
“This is a critical step in protecting both resident citizens and immigrants alike from the consequences of ineligible voting activity,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “It was wholly unnecessary for the Texas Democrats to alter voter registration forms. They invited confusion and potentially unlawful activity where the consequences would only be paid by immigrant communities.”
Texas Democrat Party mailers circulated around the Rio Grande Valley region of south Texas landed in the hands of lawfully present noncitizens in late September and early October. The envelopes contained voter registration applications where the answers to questions “Are you a United States Citizen?” and “Will you be 18 years of age on or before election day?” were pre-printed “Yes” for each.
Complaints from PILF went to district attorneys in the region, in addition to Texas and federal officers, explaining why pre-printing answers about eligibility are problematic:
[W]hen Congress passed the NVRA, it envisioned a registrant making two separate affirmations of citizenship – both the checkbox as well as the signature attestation. This enables prosecutors to easier establish intent and state of mind when noncitizens illegally register to vote.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott assured the public via Twitter Thursday, October 18, that an investigation was underway.
Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.