The Great Texas Immigrant Voter Hunt Shoots Itself In the Foot

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A few days ago I wrote about yet another idiot initiative—this time in Texas—to rid their voter rolls of the vast hordes of noncitizens who were messing with their elections. They must be there, right? Everyone knows it.

At the time, I naturally figured that nothing would come of it, but I also wondered if we’d ever hear about it again when it produced the inevitable bupkis. Little did I expect that not only would we hear more about it, it would take less than a week:

After flagging tens of thousands of registered voters for citizenship reviews, the Texas secretary of state’s office is now telling counties that some of those voters don’t belong on the lists it sent out. Officials in five large counties — Harris, Travis, Fort Bend, Collin and Williamson — told The Texas Tribune they had received calls Tuesday from the secretary of state’s office indicating that some of the voters whose citizenship status the state said counties should consider checking should not actually be on those lists.

That was on Tuesday. Here’s more from yesterday:

By the time local elections officials downloaded a list of 366 registered voters the Texas Secretary of State’s Office initially said may not be citizens, the office had called to tell them to disregard the list, Elections Administrator Kathy Van Wolfe said….“They sent out a list and called us and said it was a mistake,” Van Wolfe said. “All those people have proven citizenship.”

….Election officials in Texas’ largest county say they have already cleared about 18,000 voters in the Houston area who the state had wrongly flagged as potential noncitizens. Harris County special assistant attorney Douglas Ray said Wednesday he expects to find more mistakes as the state backpedals on claims that tens of thousands of illegal ballots had potentially been cast since 1996.

So that’s that. The wingers in Texas were so anxious to tell the world there might be 95,000 noncitizens on their voter rolls that they massively flubbed it. Within a few days their list has probably been cut in half, and by the time this fiasco is completed I’ll be surprised if they find more than a dozen noncitizens. What a bunch of idiots.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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