HOUSTON — During a House Elections Committee hearing on March 4, 2021, a representative from Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office repeatedly claimed that there were 500 pending cases targeting people who had committed voting offenses.
However, this claim is not consistent with the attorney general’s own internal data. Through public information requests to the attorney general’s office, the ACLU of Texas has attained data showing that, as of February 12, 2021, there were only 43 pending prosecutions. These prosecutions consist only of unproven allegations and represent a tiny fraction of ballots cast in the relevant time period.
The following quote can be attributed to Tommy Buser-Clancy, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Texas:
“The attorney general owes both the House Election Committee and the public a forthright explanation for the extreme discrepancy between its testimony and its own records concerning pending prosecutions. Purposeful or not, the inflation of the number of cases is especially disturbing as it appears to be aimed at laying the groundwork to further criminalize voting in Texas, like in House Bill 6. The vast majority of Texans want measures that make voting easier. The state does not need more criminal penalties and restrictions, nor should those restrictions be buttressed by unsubstantiated numbers.”