INSTITUTE INDEX: The high cost of the non-citizen voter myth

A Texas initiative to remove non-citizens from the voting rolls threatened the voting rights of tens of thousands of naturalized citizens, who are disproportionately Latino and Asian. (Photo by Jasleen Kaur via Flickr.)

Month in which Texas Interim Secretary of State David Whitley (R) launched a review of the state's voter rolls in an effort to find and remove non-U.S. citizens: 1/2019

In a January advisory he sent to county registrars, number of non-citizens Whitley alleged were registered to vote in his state: 98,000

Number of business days after sending out the advisory that Whitley acknowledged that his list, compiled from Texas Department of Public Safety data, contained erroneous information, though he did not withdraw it or the advisory: 1

Percent of Texas's naturalized citizens who are either Latino or Asian: 75

Date on which President Donald Trump tweeted about Whitley's efforts, sharing additional incorrect information about non-citizen voting: 1/27/2019

Factor by which turnout of Latino voters in Texas increased from the 2014 to the 2018 midterm elections, with exit polls showing they voted overwhelmingly for Democrats: 2

Date on which the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) sent letters to Texas counties warning that they risked being sued if they challenged voters' eligibility based on Whitley's claims: 1/28/2019

Date on which MALDEF filed a lawsuit against Whitley on behalf of individual naturalized citizens and voting rights groups for conspiring with Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton, also Republicans, to violate the naturalized citizens' constitutional rights by questioning their voting eligibility: 2/1/2019

Total number of legal challenges brought against Texas over the flawed non-citizen purge: 3

Date on which a settlement was reached in the cases, which were consolidated into one, requiring Whitley to scrap the flawed list: 4/26/2019

According to the judge's order in the case, of the 98,000 people on Whitley's original list, number who had actually been identified by elections officials as potentially ineligible to vote: 80

Amount Texas must pay in costs and attorney's fees for the plaintiffs, in addition to revising how it investigates voter citizenship: $450,000

Date by which Whitley, who was temporarily appointed to the post last December, must be confirmed by the state Senate: 5/27/2019

Date on which all 12 Democrats in the 31-member Texas Senate announced their opposition to him over the non-citizen voting debacle, which would make Whitley's confirmation mathematically impossible: 2/25/2019

Number of other Southern states where Republican politicians have also targeted alleged non-citizen voters using flawed methods: 2*

* Florida and North Carolina.

(Click on figure to go to source. Ben Barber provided research assistance for this index.)