According to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office, the Texas Department of Public Safety has identified 58,000 non-US citizens who have voted in at least one Texas election since 1996, reports NBCDFW.
What’s more, 95,000 non-citizens are registered to vote in Texas according to the DPS.
“Texas law allows lawfully present noncitizens to obtain driver’s licenses by showing proof of lawful presence to DPS,” said Paxton’s office in a statement. “However, only citizens are eligible to vote. And Texas law currently does not require verification of a voter’s statement that they are a citizen.”
The Texas Secretary of State this week provided the information to Paxton’s office, which can prosecute election crimes.
“Every single instance of illegal voting threatens democracy in our state and deprives individual Texans of their voice,” Paxton said in a statement. “My Election Fraud Unit stands ready to investigate and prosecute crimes against the democratic process when needed.”
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott praised the findings, which officials said were the result of voter rolls being checked against a state database of Texas residents who are not citizens but leally obtained driver’s licenses.
“I support prosecution where appropriate. The State will work on legislation to safeguard against these illegal practices,” Abbott tweeted. –NBCDFW
The Texas Secretary of State’s office is “very confident” that the information they received is current, according to spokesman Sam Taylor – however a voting rights group immediately questioned its accuracy.
Democratic lawmakers in the Lone Star State have urged caution “because we have consistently seen Texas politicians conjure the specter of voter fraud as pretext to suppress legitimate votes, we are naturally skeptical,” according to Dallas state Rep. Rafael Anchia.
Paxton mentioned three recent voter fraud convictions in his statement, adding “Nothing is more vital to preserving our Constitution than the integrity of our voting process, and my office will do everything within its abilities to solidify trust in every election in the state of Texas. I applaud Secretary of State Whitley for his proactive work in safeguarding our elections.”