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'Flawed' Numbers May Mean North Texas Counties Have Fewer Voter Rolls To Check

Leah McElrath
Associated Press
This Oct. 22, 2018, photo shows the ballot summary page of voter Leah McElrath. Although she voted a straight-Democratic Party ticket, the voting machine flipped her vote for U.S. senator to Republican Ted Cruz.

Election officials across counties in North Texas are in something of a holding pattern when it comes to checking for suspected non-U.S. citizens on their voter rolls. 

The Secretary of State flagged nearly 100,000 cases in an advisory Friday, but backtracked in some cases Tuesday. 

"The preliminary numbers that we received yesterday was 9,938," Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole told KERA News.

But Pippins-Poole said she got a call from the Secretary of State's Office Tuesday saying the numbers would be changing because the names they received were "flawed," with some people already having shown they were citizens to Texas' Department of Public Safety. 

"We don't know the exact number now," she said. 

Collin County had a simliar story. Bruce Sherbet with the Collin County Elections Department said, regardless, checking each name on an updated list would take "a couple months." 

Collin County's preliminary numbers were around 4,700. 

As the Texas Tribune reports, counties across Texashave received similar notices:

Officials in five large counties — Harris, Travis, Fort Bend, Collin and Williamson — told The Texas Tribune they had received calls Tuesday from the secretary of state’s office indicating that some of the voters whose citizenship status the state said counties should consider checking should not actually be on those lists.

18,000 Houston-area voters removed from citizenship check

Meanwhile, thousands of voters in Harris County have been cleared from the list.

The Associated Press reports:

Election officials in Texas' largest county say they have already cleared about 18,000 voters in the Houston area who the state had wrongly flagged as potential noncitizens.

Harris County special assistant attorney Douglas Ray said Wednesday he expects to find more mistakes as the state backpedals on claims that tens of thousands of illegal ballots had potentially been cast since 1996.

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley said last week that roughly 95,000 voters matched records of noncitizens who had obtained state IDs. Republicans seized on the announcement to renew claims of widespread voter fraud.

But the numbers began unraveling Tuesday. That's when local officials say Whitley's office revealed to them the list was flawed.

Democratic lawmakers say they'll investigate. Whitley has not publicly acknowledged any error.

Anthony Cave reports gun culture as part of a new national reporting collaborative called Guns & America.