Texas officials are taking a step back on their claim they found 95,000 possible noncitizens in the state’s voter rolls. They say it is possible many of the people on their list should not be there. In a statement Tuesday, the Texas Secretary of State’s office said they “are continuing to provide information to the counties to assist them in verifying eligibility of Texas voters.” Last Friday, Texas Secretary of State David Whitley sent an advisory to local registrars asking them to look at their voter rolls. Whitley said his office flagged the names of 95,000 people who at one point in the past 22 years had identified as noncitizens with the Texas Department of Public Safety. In that timespan, officials said, they also registered to vote. Voting rights groups have said the state’s list is likely a list of naturalized citizens who recently got the right to vote.
The state has provided little information about the methodology it used to compile the list, which has concerned both local election officials and voting rights groups.
“I don’t know how they crafted their list,” said Travis County’s Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant, who manages the county’s voter rolls.
Elfant says he’s been holding off contacting voters on the original list of alleged noncitizens that the state gave him. He says the list had the names of about 4,500 people who live in Travis County, which includes the city of Austin and its suburbs.