AUSTIN, TEXAS – According to court documents, a federal judge on Tuesday ordered the Texas Secretary of State to release records about a state program that claims to identify non-U.S. citizens on the voter rolls.

In February, MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Texas (ACLU Texas), Campaign Legal Center (CLC), DĒMOS, and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a lawsuit arguing that Texas Secretary of State John B. Scott’s refusal to turn over the records he uses to determine a voter’s citizenship status violates the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). According to the complaint, Scott’s use of outdated driver’s license records to identify registered voters as potential non-citizens unfairly targets naturalized U.S. citizens who are legitimately registered to vote. In 2021, the groups sent two letters requesting the records under the NVRA but did not receive them. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

Following a bench trial in May, U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that Scott had violated the NVRA and gave him 14 days to turn over the records.

Please attribute the following statement to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel, MALDEF:

“It is fundamentally undemocratic to hide from public view the process and practice used to seek to remove voters from the rolls; the secrecy is rendered even more pernicious when the purge program targets naturalized citizens who have followed arduous federal procedures to gain the right to vote.”

Read the order HERE