By Audrey Conklin | Fox News
Noncitizens registering to vote harms both citizens and immigrants, according to the group.
A conservative legal group is suing the largest county in Texas after discovering hundreds of instances of successful noncitizen voter registrations between 1996 and 2020.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit against Harris County on Monday to prevent future illegal voting, citing hundreds of illegal registrations and dozens of instances in which foreign nationals successfully registered to vote despite not answering “YES” to the citizenship eligibility question.
“The foundation made a federal case to access to these records – now we see what the fight was all for,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said in a statement. “Individuals claiming to be foreign nationals should not be registered in Harris County.”
Adams added that the issue not only harms citizens but puts “those immigrants into serious jeopardy with federal officials,” and the PILF hopes to see “swift action prior to the voting this fall.”
The lawsuit also includes records of noncitizens who registered to vote even after answering “NO” to the citizen eligibility question. Noncitizen voters were removed from the voter roll – sometimes years later – “after the registrant purportedly made another attestation of noncitizenship or otherwise did not affirm citizenship,” the complaint states.
There are 2.4 million people on the Harris County voter roll; PILF said they had to sue the county in order to access more records, as Fox News’ Houston affiliate reported.
Stacks of ballot envelopes waiting to be mailed are seen at the Wake County Board of Elections in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)
Registrar Ann Harris Bennett’s office told the outlet in a statement that “the Public Interest Legal Foundation claims an average of approximately 134 applicants per year had some problem related to United States citizenship,” adding that “all of these applications were caught, and there is no allegation that anyone who is not a citizen is currently registered to vote.”
Nevertheless, this out-of-state organization filed a second lawsuit to ask a state court to order the registrar to assure the integrity of Harris County’s voter records. The organization also asked for $210,000 in attorney’s fees, despite failing to uncover any evidence that there are currently any noncitizens registered to vote. The registrar will now take steps to respond to this new case.”
Bennett’s office and the Harris County Clerk’s office did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News.
PILF settled a lawsuit against Harris County in 2019 to require the county to review noncitizen voter registration cancellation records, according to a press release.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office in 2019 discovered 95,000 noncitizens on state voter rolls, according to The Center Square. Paxton announced 134 voter fraud charges on Sept. 24 against four individuals connected to the state’s 2018 Democratic primary.
“It is an unfortunate reality that elections can be stolen outright by mail ballot fraud,” Paxton said in a statement. “Election fraud, particularly an organized mail ballot fraud scheme orchestrated by political operatives, is an affront to democracy and results in voter disenfranchisement and corruption at the highest level.”
He added that “mail ballots are vulnerable to diversion, coercion and influence by organized vote harvesting schemes.”
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