Joe Schoffstall, Washington Free Beacon, March 29, 2018
A Texas county has been hit with a lawsuit for concealing records in relation to noncitizens on voter rolls.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), an election integrity group, filed a complaint on Thursday against the Office of the Harris County Voter Registrar in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas for its refusal to disclose documents or allow the inspection of its voter rolls in relation to registrants who were removed after it was discovered that they were noncitizens.
Voter registration officials in Harris County previously testified that “thousands” of noncitizens were discovered on their rolls every year and then handed over to the District Attorney for prosecution. Houston, one of the largest cities in the United States, is located in Harris County.
PILF initially requested to review the records of Harris County on Dec. 1, 2017, but was ultimately denied access to the documents on Jan. 11. The group then sent a final notice to the county in late January warning that they could face a federal lawsuit if they continued to deny the group inspection of the records.
“Harris County has previously admitted a problem with noncitizen registration and voting,” J. Christian Adams, president and general counsel of PILF, said of the suit. “Election officials should be transparent, and in fact are required by federal law to be transparent. Our requests to inspect records will help educate lawmakers and the public alike on how noncitizens are gaining entry into the voting system; how long they remain; how they vote; and what we can do to fix the issue. The question is not if — but how many noncitizens are participating? Harris County cannot expect to get away with avoiding its federal transparency responsibilities.”
Bexar County, which includes the city of San Antonio, also one of the most populous counties in the country, declined PILF’s request to inspect their rolls following discovery or admittance of noncitizens that were removed from the rolls in December.
PILF threatened the suit against Bexar County in late January.