Senator Ellis Press Release

For Immediate Release
September 11, 2012
Contact: Jeremy Warren, 512-463-0113

Ellis Raises Concerns Over SOS Voter Purge

High rate of "dead" voters are actually alive and well

(AUSTIN, TX) — State Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), today sent the following letter to Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade regarding implementation of legislation to purge dead voters from county voting rolls. According to published reports, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar Don Sumners has raised the alarm over many errors.

September 11, 2012

The Honorable Hope Andrade
Texas Secretary of State
Texas Capitol, Room 1E.8
Austin, TX 78701

Dear Secretary Andrade:

Yesterday, my office was contacted by a number of constituents who received letters from Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar Don Sumners. The letters stated that Sumners' office had obtained information indicating that the constituent is deceased and, unless they respond to the letter within 30 days, their voter registration will be cancelled. It is my understanding that Sumners received this information from your office and that you are acting under the requirements of H.B. 174 (82nd Regular Session).

I have grave concerns that very much alive and registered voters — not only in my senatorial district, but across all of Texas — will be disenfranchised as a result of this clearly flawed voter purge. I therefore have the following questions:

Given the fact that we are less than two months away from election day and less than a month away from the registration deadline, I ask that you respond in writing as soon as possible. If a process upon which you are relying to purge voters this close to the election is shown to be flawed, I urge you to do whatever possible to protect Texas voters' franchise. Our state and our voters deserve no less.


[Signature: Rodney Ellis]
Rodney Ellis