Texas cannot change voter registration without notice
The demand stems from a court ruling on the state’s process for marking non-citizen voters. The ruling does not allow Texas to revoke registrations without notice.
On November 8th, Texas residents will go to the polls to cast their ballots in a series of high-profile races, including the race for governor.
Incumbent Greg Abbott, a Republican, faces Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. Other seats on the ballot include the Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Land Commissioner, and Agriculture Commissioner, who are elected every four years.
With the October 11 voter registration deadline approaching, a TikToker went viral while advising Texans to verify and re-verify their voter registration status. The poster claims a recent court ruling allows the state to confiscate voter registration for anyone the state deems a non-citizen.
“If you’re in Texas, you have to check your voter registration every day leading up to the vote because, of course, a Texas appeals judge just said he can withhold the list of people who he thinks are noncitizens and shouldn’t be able to vote,” he said the tik toker says. “And they don’t say who’s on that list. If they “think” you’re a non-citizen, they can hold you back and your vote won’t count.”
VERIFY viewer Kimberly also asked us if it was true that the state of Texas revoked people’s voter registrations without telling them.
Does the state of Texas revoke voter registration without telling them?
No, the state of Texas does not revoke voter registration without notifying you.
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WHAT WE FOUND
The court ruling TikToker mentions dealt with non-citizen voters, but didn’t allow the state to revoke people’s registrations without notice.
Before we dive into the details of the ruling, it’s important to understand the state’s process for marking non-citizen voters and who gets to vote in the state of Texas.
To vote in Texas or any other state, you must be a US citizen and be at least 18 years of age on election day. A full list of admission requirements can be found here.
According to Sam Taylor, a spokesman for the Texas Secretary of State, who is the state’s Chief Election Officer, The eligibility determination process works as follows:
- If an individual registers to vote, then later goes to a Texas Department of Public Safety driver’s license office and indicates that they are not a US citizen, the individual’s registration will be shown to the county electoral registry with which they are registered.
- The district then mails a notification to the voter that their registration has been marked as a potential non-US citizenship, and the person has 30 days to respond to the district’s voter register with proof of US citizenship. If the person does not respond within 30 days, the voter registration will be deleted.
“However, voter registration can be restored immediately, including at the polling station, if the voter provides proof of U.S. citizenship,” Taylor told VERIFY in an email.
According to the Texas Election Codea person required to prove citizenship may provide a certified copy of the voter’s birth certificate, United States passport, or certificate of naturalization in order to re-register to vote if deregistered.
Texas is required to notify individuals flagged as noncitizens under the National Voter Registration Act 1993 (NVRA), which sets the guidelines and requirements for voter registration in the United States
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Now to explain the details behind the court ruling.
According to court documents, earlier this year a coalition of civil rights groups sued the state after it refused to produce the list of more than 11,000 people the state said had been identified as non-citizens and ineligible to vote. The purpose of the lawsuit was to ensure that the state was complying with the NVRA and that everyone on that list was in fact ineligible to vote.
The groups asked the Secretary of State to provide data on each person, including the date the person registered to vote, the date their driver’s license was issued and voting history.
The state denied the request, saying the release of the list violated privacy laws. In August, a district court judge sided with the civil rights groups, saying the state must release the records.
However, the appeals court overturned that decision on September 29, saying the organizations named in the original case had no authority to sue the state at all, and therefore the state did not have to release the list.
That doesn’t mean every voter in Texas has to regularly check their registration status to see if they’ve been flagged as a non-citizen, as TikToker claimed. We can VERIFY that the court ruling was about the publication of a list, not how the state marks who can and cannot register to vote.
In Texas, the deadline for registering to vote in the November 8 election is October 11. Texas voters can verify their credentials Registration status online through the Department of State at this link.
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https://www.kvue.com/article/news/verify/elections-verify/texas-is-not-revoking-peoples-voter-registration-without-telling-them-election-2022/536-729db81c-03d2-4ed5-b68f-542e3a2ca1aa Texas cannot change voter registration without notice