Friday, February 22, 2019

Texas Senate Has Enough Votes to Block Secretary of State Whitley's Nomination

Posted By on Fri, Feb 22, 2019 at 2:07 PM

click to enlarge Texas Secretary of State David Whitley convenes a meeting of the Texas Legislature. - TWITTER / TXSECOFSTATE
  • Twitter / txsecofstate
  • Texas Secretary of State David Whitley convenes a meeting of the Texas Legislature.
All 12 Democrats in the Texas Senate have confirmed they'd vote against approving Secretary of State David Whitley, the official behind a recent gaffe-ridden review of the voter rolls, according to the Texas Tribune.

You may remember Whitley as Gov. Greg Abbott's appointee who launched a voter citizenship review that flagged 95,000 Texas voters for scrutiny, many simply for being naturalized U.S. citizens.

As of today, 12 Senators have confirmed their "no" votes on Whitley's confirmation as the state's top elections official, according to the Tribune. He'd need a two-thirds vote from the 31-member chamber to keep his job.

Oops.



“The duties acting Secretary Whitley was appointed to as the Chief Elections Officer requires a high level of discretion in protecting the integrity of our voters in Texas,” state Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, said in a statement to the Tribune. “Unfortunately, through his actions and those of his office acting Secretary Whitley failed to uphold the expectations of his position. I cannot in good conscience approve a nominee who, contrary to the responsibilities of their position, has caused turmoil and fear among many Texas voters.”

Whitley early this month endured a withering public hearing over the voter purge that had him wearing an even longer face than usual. What's more, the state now faces at least three federal lawsuits from civil rights groups over the review he engineered.

If the Senate Democrats stick together on a vote, Whitley would be out of a job immediately. However, if his nomination is left pending without a vote, he could stick around until the Lege wraps up its session in May.

In January, both Abbott and Texas AG Ken Paxton publicly announced that Whitley's numbers are indicative of widespread voter fraud. President Donald Trump joined in the fun, erroneously tweeting that 58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas and that those numbers "are just the tip of the iceberg."

If you need a refresher on Texas Republicans' lengthy history of erroneous voter purges to put any of this in context, here you go.

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