Reports indicate the Democratic Party in Texas may have sent voter registration applications to non-citizens ineligible to vote, with questions regarding legal citizenship status and voting age pre-checked. Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos said in a statement Monday he has asked state Attorney General Ken Paxton to open an investigation into the matter.
The mailings from the Democratic Party of Texas were sent using pre-addressed return envelopes, and this may have caused some residents to believe the mailers were official communications from the state. According to a complaint, “The envelopes contained voter registration applications where the answers to questions ‘Are you a United States citizen?’ and ‘Will you be 18 years of age on or before election day?’ were pre-printed ‘Yes’ for each.”
It is a crime to encourage someone to submit a fraudulent voter registration, whether it includes the wrong age or the wrong citizenship status.
“The numerous calls and complaints we have received regarding pre-filled voter registration applications sent to ineligible voters are highly disturbing,” Pablos said in his statement.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation brought the issue to light last week and praised the investigation that was opened.
“The Texas Democratic Party had no business altering voter registration forms,” organization spokesman Logan Churchwell said. “The party apparently does not grasp the lifelong consequences their actions can carry against affected immigrants, yet it was willing to risk them to squeeze votes for an overhyped Senate race.”
While it is unclear and unlikely that non-citizens were sent the mailers on purpose, the whole idea of registering to vote is to ensure people are active in Democracy and seek to register by themselves. Registering for people is counterintuitive to the intended purpose of registering in the first place. If Democrats are filling out voter registration forms for people — citizens or not — it goes against the nature of registering oneself.
It is of course fair game to encourage people to register to vote and to provide them the materials and directions to do so. But ultimately the act of registering must be completed individually out of true desire to register, not out of fear or nuisance.