WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last Wednesday, Texas resident Hervis Rogers was arrested for allegedly voting in the 2018 midterm elections and 2020 Democratic primary while on parole. Rogers was one of the thousands of voters who faced long lines to have their voices heard in Texas last year, waiting six hours in Houston on Super Tuesday to cast his primary ballot. Over a year later, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) ordered his arrest, alleging that he had knowingly voted while on parole, a crime punishable by prison time in Texas.
Rogers’ attorneys argue that he shouldn’t be charged with “knowingly” committing fraud since he was not aware he could not vote. Rogers, who was last convicted of a crime in 1995, believed his parole was over. Even though the last time Rogers cast a ballot was back in 2020, he was arrested last week. His arrest was conveniently timed with the start of the special session in Texas, during which state Republicans hope to pass voter suppression laws that will enact new criminal penalties for unintentional voting mistakes.