Governor ‘driving force’ behind program to wrongly purge up to 100,000 rightful voters from Texas rolls: Report
Greg Abbott at WTTC Global Summit 2016. (World Travel & Tourism Council/Flickr)

“We have an urgent request from the governor’s office to do it again.”

Back in January, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott announced he believes in charging those who commit voter fraud. “I support prosecution where appropriate,” Abbott said. His Attorney General, Ken Paxton had just posted a “VOTER FRAUD ALERT” on Twitter.

The Texas Secretary of State had claimed in an advisory that 95,000 registered voters in the Lone Star State were actually not U.S. citizens, and that a whopping 58,000 had recently voted.

It was all false. Maybe even a lie. It perhaps could even be called fraud.

"Gov. Greg Abbott’s office was a driving force in the state’s program to purge nearly 100,000 suspected non-U.S. citizens from Texas’ voter rolls," the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday reports. Months after making the false claims, the program to disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters was "scrapped...after the state settled lawsuits challenging it, and after Secretary of State officials publicly admitted they included flawed data showing tens of thousands of naturalized citizens were on the purge list."

Emails revealing Governor Abbott was behind the purge were just released.

The data the Secretary of State used to construct the list of voters to be purged from the rolls wrongly included legal permanent residents who later become naturalized U.S. citizens. The governor's program would have removed them.

“The bottom line is this was the governor’s program,” said Luis Vera, the national general counsel for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Vera also accused Gov. Abbott of throwing David Whitley, Abbott's nominee to become Secretary of State, and Dept. of Public Safety Secretary Steve McCraw "under the bus. All along it was the governor pushing for (the program)."

The Chronicle adds that in "an August 2018 email from John Crawford, a top official of the driver’s license division at the Texas Department of Public Safety, to an employee, Crawford said DPS had run data of licensed drivers to compare to state voter rolls before, and “we have an urgent request from the governor’s office to do it again.”