Today, LDF submitted written testimony to the Texas House Elections Committee expressing opposition to S.B. 114, would codify flawed voter purge procedures that are known to lead to the removal of recently naturalized U.S. citizens, who in Texas are predominantly Latinx and Asian, and include Black citizens. S.B. 1114’s potential burdens on naturalized citizens raise concerns under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (“VRA”), as well as the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (“NVRA”). This bill would conduct voter purges using data from the Department of Public Safety, (“DPS”) the state’s motor vehicle agency. DPS data is notoriously unreliable as it fails to reflect whether someone who applied for a driver’s license as a legal permanent residents at some point in the past but has now become a naturalized U.S. citizen. The bill threatens to result in the impermissible targeting for cancellation of the voter registrations of naturalized U.S. citizens — in Texas, naturalized citizens are predominantly Latino and Asian, and Texas is also home to the highest number of Black immigrants from Africa and the fifth-highest number of Black immigrants who are eligible voters. The bill also may lead the state to violate a settlement agreement based on a previous attempted purge of qualified voters who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2019. This bill also fails to incorporate the safeguards required as part of a binding settlement agreement the State reached in 2019, which arose from the Secretary of State’s unlawful attempt to purge nearly 100,000 naturalized-citizen voters from the Texas voter rolls in much the same manner.
Read the full written testimony here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.