Governor Abbott responds to complaints about controversial voter list

It’s been a week since the controversial voter list was released by the Texas Secretary of State. The Attorney General's office was quick to issue a statement that nearly 100,000 non-citizens were registered to vote in Texas and almost 60,000 had done so.

"I think its important to let the data speak for itself,” said Governor Greg Abbott.

Thursday morning at this gathering regarding property tax relief, Governor Greg Abbott (R) Texas  acknowledged the list has problems. "They were clear, it was a weak match and they were reaching out to counties this isn't a hard and fast list this is a list we need to work on together."

The list comes after questions were raised during the November general election.

On election night, Project Veritas released a video of a Travis County poll worker telling a woman it would be okay for her boyfriend to vote; even though he was an undocumented immigrant.

Because of the video and recent voter fraud convictions  the governor remains convinced efforts are needed to protect the ballot box. "There is a single goal here, a single goal that everybody surly agrees upon, is that no one who doesn't have the authority to vote is not eligible to vote, and equally, everybody who is eligible to vote, make sure they are registered,” said Governor Abbott. 

Williamson County provided an example of how the list is flawed.

The county was sent a little more than 2,000 names that had been red flagged by the state. By Wednesday a little more than half of those names had been checked, officials tell me all of those names that were checked are legal voters.

"I think for purposes of getting a big press splash, they may have felt like they were ready, for purposes of actually doing the job right, it clearly wasn't ready,” said Senator Watson.

State Senator Kirk Watson (D) Austin supports efforts to protect the vote but he pointed out the state has to be careful because of its long history of trying to repress the vote. "We ought to do things in a common sense way to make sure we are not making allegations, blanket strong and extreme allegations about people voting, without doing the basic work on the front end,” said Senator Watson.

In a statement sent to FOX 7; a spokesperson for the Secretary of State said there was never any time restraint on the counties to complete the review of the list that was sent out.

It was also noted that if, "any registered voters who provided proof of citizenship at the time they registered to vote will not be required to provide proof of citizenship as part of the counties' examination." Notifications to prove citizenship are being sent out.  

Those who receive one have 30 days to respond.

Forms of proof include a birth certificate, a passport or a certificate of naturalization. 

Thursday, members of the Mexican American legislative caucus issued a call for the list to be rescinded and for the state to stop all efforts to remove names from county voter rolls.



FOX 7 Discussion: Examining the Texas Secretary of State's report

FOX 7 Discussion: 95,000 voters may not be U.S. citizens

Texas officials say thousands of non-citizens on voter rolls