As I’ve been suggesting for a while now, the state of Texas is moving in the direction of becoming a swing state. So it should come as no surprise that the Republicans who run things are desperate to find an excuse to claim voter fraud and make it more difficult for people to exercise their franchise.
The Texas secretary of state’s office announced Friday it would send local election officials a list of 95,000 registered voters whom the state says counties should consider checking to see whether they are U.S. citizens and, therefore, legally eligible to vote.
In an advisory released Friday afternoon, the office said it was flagging individuals who had provided the Texas Department of Public Safety with some form of documentation — including a work visa or a green card — that showed they were not a citizen when they were obtaining a driver’s license or an ID card. Among the individuals flagged, about 58,000 individuals cast a ballot in one or more elections from 1996 to 2018, the secretary of state’s office said.
Of course, Fox News jumped on the story, which means that the president saw it and tweeted this:
58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas, with 95,000 non-citizens registered to vote. These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. All over the country, especially in California, voter fraud is rampant. Must be stopped. Strong voter ID! @foxandfriends
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2019
That is a lie. Even the Republican secretary of state didn’t say that 58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas, or that 95,000 non-citizens were registered to vote.
What state officials did was spend a lot of tax payer money digging around to find that 95,000 people had applied for a driver’s license or ID card by using a work visa or green card and, at some point over the next 22 years, they registered to vote. In addition, 58,000 of them had cast a ballot in one or more elections.
It’s unclear exactly how many of those individuals are not actually U.S. citizens and whether that number will be available in the future…It’s possible that individuals flagged by the state — who provided DPS with documentation that indicated they were authorized to be in the country — could have become naturalized citizens since they obtained their driver’s licenses or ID cards.
But even if 58,000 votes were cast illegally in Texas, that would amount to about 0.03 percent fraud over a 22-year period.
What we can learn from all of this nonsense is that Republicans are terrified of Americans casting their votes in fair elections. They will conjure up any means to claim there is a reason to suppress the vote. As with so much of what they’re peddling these days, it’s all based on lies.