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LULAC sues Texas over claims that nearly 100,000 voters are not U.S. citizens

January 29, 2019

The League of United Latin American Citizens filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Texas Secretary of State David Whitley and Attorney General Ken Paxton, seeking an order to force state officials to release the data used in support of Paxton’s claim last week that nearly 100,000 voters may not be U.S. citizens.

The suit says Paxton’s announcement last week is a method of voter suppression, meant to instill fear in Hispanic voters.

“That’s all they’re doing,” said Luis Vera, LULAC’s general counsel. “They’ve done it in Florida; they’ve done it in Arizona and other states. “It’s voter intimidation, voter threats. People are already calling (local election offices) and asking them to take them off the voter rolls.”

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Paxton made the claim last week in a news release and on social media. The state has now taken the position that no information used in the analysis for Paxton’s claim will be released because it is in the hands of the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the investigations are active.

By doing so, the state is using the Texas Public Information Act act as a shield, as it prohibits information from active investigations to be made public, according to Vera and the lawsuit.

The secretary of state’s advised counties to send letters to the people in question advising them to prove their citizenship.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales’ office said it was directing the elections department to hold off on sending those notifications while it seeks guidance from the attorney general on the matter.

“At this time, we really want to proceed cautiously,” said county attorney Larry Roberson.

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County Judge Nelson Wolff, who broached the issue at Commissioners Court after he got word of the lawsuit, agreed.

“We need to be careful,” Wolff said.

This story is developing. Check back for more updates.

Dylan McGuinness covers local politics and the Bexar County government for the Express-News. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | dylan.mcguinness@express-news.net  | Twitter: @DylMcGuinness