The Harris County Republic Party is under fire at the moment following allegations that they targeted voters in areas populated by minorities for challenges to their voter registrations. By challenging these locations under the guise of rooting out voter fraud, the party has effectively suspended the voting rights of people living at those addresses. The Republican Party campaign was undertaken by Alan Vela, chairman of the party’s Ballot Security Committee and involved 4,000 addresses. … One such person was Third Ward resident Lynn Lane, a prominent local photographer. Despite living at the same address for the past five years and voting in every election, he received a letter from Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar Ann Harris-Bennett’s office informing him that his registration was suspect and that he had to provide proof of residency or face loss of his voting power. By law Harris-Bennet’s office must respond to the challenges with official notices to residents informing them they are in danger of losing their right to vote.
Lane was not the only one. Several people he knew, including a neighbor, had received similar letters, all in minority neighborhoods. Tim Lankford, who previously resided in the heavily-minority area at Beltway 8 and Bissonnet, also received one forwarded from his recently vacated address.
The post office box claim is somewhat strange. Both Lane and Lankford say they have never had a post office box. Thus far, neither Vera nor the Harris County Republican Party have responded to our attempts to contact them for comment.