A federal court in San Antonio hears arguments over a state probe into the citizenship status of thousands of registered voters in Texas.
Civil rights groups such as the League of United Latin American Citizens want the investigation shut down, calling it a threat to voting rights. LULAC attorneys argue it discriminates against naturalized citizens and amounts to voter intimidation.
True the Vote's Catherine Engelbrecht says Texas and other states wouldn't have to purge voter rolls if given accurate information in the first place.
“There's data out there to show who is and isn't a citizen, and the challenge is the federal government won't release that to the states,” she says.
State official compiled the list of suspected ineligible voters by checking voting registrations against driver's license records at the Department of Public Safety.
Thousands of names were later removed when it was learned those people became naturalized citizens, but Engelbrecht says the problem is still there.
“Taking this to court and trying to shut it down continues to obfuscate the truth,” she says. “Every illegally cast ballot cancels out the vote of one cast by an American citizen irrespective of party.”
Lawyers for the Texas attorney general argued such probes are required by law, and the case should be tossed out.
“In a matter that is as sensitive as this we really have to be conscientious about checking to make sure that citizenship challenges are based on fact and we are accurately identifying those people who have gone on to become citizens,” says Engelbrecht.