Non-citizens are getting registered to vote in Texas, an ongoing investigation of voter fraud in the Rio Grande Valley has confirmed.
“We can confirm for sure that there have been persons, that there are persons, who are registered to vote who are non-U.S. citizens,” said Starr County District Attorney Omar Escobar. His office made the discovery while investigating what it believes are fraudulent mail-in ballot applications submitted for the March 6 primaries.
The DA’s office began reviewing the eligibility of voters applying for mail-in ballots just weeks ahead of the primary elections. Only certain voters are eligible to vote by mail. Under a new law passed last year, lying on a ballot application has been upgraded to a state jail felony.
“We have evidence, at this point, to believe that more than one person has requested an application for ballot by mail when they are clearly not disabled,” said Escobar.
Escobar says his investigation began after a conversation with the county elections administrator about non-U.S. citizens on the county’s voter registration rolls.
It’s both a state and federal crime for non-citizens to register to vote.
The elections office was pressed to take a closer look at its registration rolls after the American Civil Rights Union sued the county in 2016 for failing to maintain accurate voter lists as required by the National Voter Registration Act, also known as the “Motor Voter” law.
According to the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a law firm dedicated solely to election integrity that is representing the ACRU in the case, Starr County voter rolls “contain more voters registered to vote than there are citizens eligible to vote residing in the county.”
Starr isn’t the only Texas county under scrutiny for allowing aliens onto its voter rolls.
PILF announced this month that it’s prepared to sue both Bexar and Harris counties as well if local officials continue to conceal public records about the extent of non-citizen registration and voting. Under the NVRA, the counties have 90 days to come clean and allow PILF access to the requested records or face a federal lawsuit. The clock is ticking.
PILF has successfully sued counties in Texas and elsewhere for failing to comply with the NVRA, and has discovered non-citizens registering and voting in multiple states including VirginiaPennsylvania, and New Jersey.
It’s easy for non-citizens to get on the voter rolls in Texas because no one verifies applicants’ citizenship. It’s an honor system – applicants merely check a box affirming they’re U.S. citizens.
In addition to non-citizens, Starr identified other ineligible voters on the rolls. The DA’s office gave the elections administrator a list of almost 700 felons to remove from the voter list this election. State law says they can’t vote until they fully serve their sentences.
Escobar warns voters that if they cast a ballot under any false statements made on any forms, they will be opening themselves to investigation. Violators will also be subject to the new harsher state penalties – and if they’re not U.S. citizens, to federal prosecution as well.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.


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