Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley Resigns, Facing No Confirmation Vote from Senate

Posted By on Tue, May 28, 2019 at 11:37 AM

click to enlarge David Whitley answers questions from the Senate's nominations committee earlier this session. - YOUTUBE / KUT AUSTIN
  • YouTube / KUT Austin
  • David Whitley answers questions from the Senate's nominations committee earlier this session.
Texas Secretary of State David Whitley — the engineer of a highly publicized botched effort to kick non-citizens off the state's voter rolls — has resigned.

The Texas Senate closed out the legislative session Monday without confirming Whitley, the state’s top election official and a former aide to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. Under the Texas Constitution, the secretary of state must resign if the Senate fails to confirm him during the session.

And resign Whitley did. Just before the fall of the Senate's closing gavel, he issued a letter withdrawing from the position, which was first reported by the Austin-American Statesman.

During Whitley's six-month tenure, his office flagged nearly 100,000 voters for citizenship review based on faulty data. Nearly a quarter of the people were added in error, some of whom had become naturalized citizens.

The mishandled review resulted in a probe by the U.S. House and a flurry of lawsuits from civil rights groups. Texas recently settled three of the suits, which alleged that the state was trying to intimidate minority voters, keeping with its long history of voter suppression.

Earlier this session, all 12 Democratic senators indicated they would vote against Whitley's confirmation. Even with the support of all 19 Republicans in the body, he'd still have been short of the two-thirds majority needed to keep his job.

Whitley's biography has been scrubbed from the Texas secretary of state's website and replaced with the word "Vacant."

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