AUSTIN, TEXAS – According to court documents, a federal judge on Tuesday ordered the Texas Secretary of State to release records about a state program that claims to identify non-U.S. citizens on the voter rolls.
In February, MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Texas (ACLU Texas), Campaign Legal Center (CLC), DĒMOS, and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a lawsuit arguing that Texas Secretary of State John B. Scott’s refusal to turn over the records he uses to determine a voter’s citizenship status violates the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). According to the complaint, Scott’s use of outdated driver’s license records to identify registered voters as potential non-citizens unfairly targets naturalized U.S. citizens who are legitimately registered to vote. In 2021, the groups sent two letters requesting the records under the NVRA but did not receive them. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
Following a bench trial in May, U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that Scott had violated the NVRA and gave him 14 days to turn over the records.
Please attribute the following statement to Brenda Wright, Senior Advisor, Legal Strategies, Demos:
“Texas has been deliberate in its effort to disenfranchise voters, an effort made more egregious by the state’s blatant repeated disregard for transparency. This country’s sordid history of anti-voter discrimination—particularly against Black and brown voters—warrants scrutiny of practices that make it harder for eligible voters to cast a ballot. In order to facilitate such scrutiny, ensure the integrity of elections and empower the people to hold their state officials accountable, Texans must have access to these records.”