AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - An Austin woman has filed a lawsuit against the Texas Secretary of State for placing her name on a list of potential illegal voters.
Two days after Julieta Garibay became a U.S citizen, she registered to vote. "When I became a citizen I was celebrating and honoring all the struggles of my mother, of myself being an immigrant and being undocumented for the majority of those years," Garibay said.
Garibay's journey to citizenship lasted 26 years.
She migrated to the United States with her family in 1992 and has been an Austinite ever since. Garibay is a domestic violence survivor and overtime became a legal permanent citizen as a part of the Violence Against Women Act. When the 2018 election came she felt honored to vote.
Months after the 2018 election, the Texas Secretary of State announced nearly 100-thousand people on the states voter rolls were not U.S citizens and had to be purged from the voter rolls. The Travis County Tax Assessor and Collector's Office received a voter fraud list of more than 4,000 names.
After hearing the news, Garibay emailed the office to make sure her name wasn't on the list. Days later she received a phone call saying she was. "I felt intimidated. I felt like did I did something wrong but I kept telling myself no I get to vote. I registered to vote and voted when it was my time to vote."
It turns out Garibay did not update her driver's license since her status changed. She said the tax office told her they would investigate. Garibay said she was frustrated with the lack of communication.
Bruce Elfant, Travis County Tax Assesor said his office is following recommendations made by the SOC office. So far, Elfant's office has found more than 1,300 people names don't belong on the list for a variety of reasons. The list, Elfant says is error ridden.
"I think it's important here in Travis County to determine what the facts are so we are going to look through this list and we are going to determine citizenship status as best we can and let the public know whether these wide spread claims of voter fraud are true or not," said Elfant.
On Monday, there was 94 duplicate names on the list and still the office has more than 3,000 left to research.. "That's why we are taking our time it's so much more important to get it right than to get it fast," Elfant said. "We have a responsibility to make sure the rolls are clean and that our citizens are on the rolls. We also have a responsibility for everybody that is on the rolls that their constitutional rights aren't violated."
Garibay has joined six other people and advocacy groups in a class action lawsuit. Claiming the state has violated their constitutional right to vote. "Our concern is this clearly voter suppression, it's intimidation. I know my right i know as a U.S citizen it is my duty to go out and vote," Garibay said.