Harris County Tax-Assessor Collector Refuses to Purge Voter Rolls
Imagine having an ailment and going to the doctor for it. The doctor examines you, runs blood work and tells you in no uncertain terms what you have. Great, right? Then, the doc looks you in the eye and tells you that he isn't going to do a damn thing about it. Knowing full well what you're sick with, he or she won't help you fix the problem.
Now, think of the 'health' of our elections here in Harris County. I know that the Republican Party here in Harris County does a heck of a lot to protect the ballot box. We've set a precedent across the state of Texas with our Ballot Security Committee headed up by former True the Vote stalwart, Alan Vera. He along with other members of the committee staff the polling places during elections to ensure that integrity at the polling place is maintained. Alan also drafts legislation to help protect
There is something else called the voter rolls that have to be kept up with. The Tax-Assessor Collector is in charge of maintaining the health of the voter rolls. What ARE the voter rolls? It's basically a list of names of people who are eligible to vote in our elections. If you're like me, you think that the only people who should be allowed to vote in elections are American citizens. Well, Ann Harris Bennett, our current tax-assessor collector would disagree.
Ms. Bennett is aware of the ailments of our voter rolls, and just like that doctor who refused to fix your problem to make you well, she's doing the same thing. According to a Washington Times article, Ms. Bennett is quoted as saying,
"Once a person is officially registered to vote, a state may only remove them from the voting list if: the person dies, changes residence, asks to be removed from the list, or becomes ineligible under state law because of criminal conviction or mental incapacity,” Ms. Bennett said in court papers. The National Voter Registration Act “does not create any obligation for a state to conduct a list maintenance program to remove the names of voters who may be ineligible due to lack of citizenship.”
Unbelievable. I disagree that non-citizens should be allowed to vote in our elections, obviously. So does our current County Clerk, Stan Stanart. I read the article and found that he was not quoted in it at all. So, I sent the article to him to get his reaction. Here's what he had to say,
"This is ridiculous and just plain wrong. It is her responsibility to investigate and remove all ineligible people on the voter rolls – including non-citizens. I wish the voter registrar would share with me the names of anyone they know who voted and whom they later found to not be a citizen. I would quickly turn them over to the DA or Attorney General for investigation and prosecution."
For context, Stan Stanart runs the elections in Harris County and he works to head off voter fraud at every turn.
"Ms. Bennett is fighting a request by the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative group pushing to clean up voter rolls, which asked the county to turn over records of people who’d signed up to vote then later admitted they weren’t citizens.
She is one of what appears to be a trend of registrars arguing that groups looking to add more names to the voter rolls are protected by the NVRA (National Voter Registration Act), but those looking to trim bloated lists of old or erroneous names are not entitled to use the 1993 law to pry loose records."
To Ms. Bennett, I would say, you have an obligation to the voters in Harris County to keep our voter rolls clean. There is such a thing as election integrity, and you should be striving to maintain it.