Texas Secretary of State David Whitley faces a major grilling today as the Texas Senate held a hearing on his appointment to the position, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The Secretary of State, unlike in many states, is not an elective office in Texas. The person is nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.
The grilling involves Whitley's office's release of a list of some 95,000 'potentially non citizen voters,' two weeks ago, which has been picked up by border security advocates, including President Trump, as evidence of illegal immigrants unlawfully casting ballots in Texas.
The list included what was presented as 95,000 immigrants who obtained the documentation they later used to comply with the state Voter ID law, mainly driver's licenses, at a time when they were not U.S. citizens and as such, were not eligible to vote.
But State Sen. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) says the list is unreliable, with many duplicates, misspelled names, and people named incorrectly.
"My folks in Harris County were provided a list with 20,000 plus names, and they were able to identify a number of duplications," she said. "Now that list is down to 11,000, and they think the list will shrink down even more."
But mainly, the list, including the names of 58,000 of the people who have voted in Texas elections since 2008. does not indicate whether they became naturalized U.S. citizens after obtaining their documentation. It was left up to county elections officials to determine if that is the case.
The League of United Latin American Citizens is demanding Whitley's resignation, saying the list was a conscious attempt to remove Latino voters, who largely vote Democrat, from the voters rolls, following strong Democrat performance in the 2018 election.
Whitley rejected that allegation.
"No piece of data from DPS or our office that was transmitted the counties included anything about race or ethnicity," he said.
None of the people on the list are illegal immigrants, because it consists of people who obtained driver's licenses legally from the DPS, and illegal immigrants are not allowed to obtain driver's licenses.
The acquisition of the documents goes back to 1996, and some 50,000 people are naturalized each year in Texas.