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Texas Secretary of State David Whitley revealed in a report Friday that a shocking number of illegal immigrants are registered to vote in The Lone Star State, many of whom actually cast votes in recent elections.
An investigation discovered that about 95,000 people identified by the Texas Department of Public Safety as non-U.S. citizens are registered to vote. Of those, records indicate 58,000 have voted at least once in elections over the past 22 years, KXAN-TV reported.
The shocking revelation was discovered during routine maintenance of the state’s voter rolls, which is mandated by state and federal law to ensure that only qualified citizens are registered to vote. Being a U.S. citizen is the primary qualification for voting.
Whitley’s office reportedly turned over the discovery to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who would conceivably prosecute any illegal activity.
“Every single instance of illegal voting threatens democracy in our state and deprives individual Texans of their voice. My Election Fraud Unit stands ready to investigate and prosecute crimes against the democratic process when needed,” Paxton said in a statement, according to KXAS-TV.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he supports prosecution “where appropriate.”
Thanks to Attorney General Paxton and the Secretary of State for uncovering and investigating this illegal vote registration. I support prosecution where appropriate. The State will work on legislation to safeguard against these illegal practices. #txlege #tcot https://t.co/UwtyXijVwK
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 25, 2019
While the news generated much attention, not everyone bought the statistics. State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D), chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, said if the allegations are true — which he doubts because “Texas politicians conjure the specter of voter fraud as pretext to suppress legitimate votes” — then blame falls on the shoulders of Abbott, Paxton, and other Republican state leaders.
Between 2005 and 2017, Texas officials prosecuted 97 cases of voter fraud. However, in 2018 alone, Paxton’s office prosecuted 33 individuals for election fraud.