WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last fall, reporting revealed that the elections administrator for Cameron County, Texas sent notice letters to registered voters it believed may not be U.S. citizens due to citizen information provided on driver’s license or personal ID card forms. The notice letter informed the voters that they had 30 days to provide proof of citizenship to the elections administration’s office or else their registration would be canceled. It was estimated that 245 letters were sent out.
In late December, Voto Latino sent a letter to Cameron County informing them that this practice violated the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which prohibits voter removal within 90 days of a federal election. Given that Texas is holding federal primary elections in March, the state was attempting to cancel registrations within that restricted window. Further, Voto Latino pointed out that the process “wrongfully threatens to call into question the lawful status of hundreds of U.S. citizens who are properly registered to vote” given that the matching process used to identify voters was not error-proof. In its letter, Voto Latino threatened to bring a lawsuit if the county continued its voter removal program. Cameron County responded to the letter on Jan. 13 stating that it ceased sending the notice letters and did not suspend or cancel any registrations related to the notice letters already sent out. The county also stated it will not take any other actions related to the status of these flagged voters until after upcoming federal elections (March 1 primary or May 24 runoff).