“We understand there may be upwards of 1.5 million voters who may be purged in the state of Texas,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) on Thursday. “If that is not a targeted, focused and purposeful act we do not know what is,” she added.
While the vote purge in Florida gets attention in the press and from the Department of Justice, lawmakers from Texas and Ohio say the same thing is happening in their states. Two million voters combined may have been removed from the rolls.
“I asked our Attorney General and the Department of Justice — within the boundaries of the law — to look at whether or not citizens of the United States are systematically being purged from from state of Texas to prevent their views from being exercised,” Congresswoman Lee said Thursday.
Ohio and Florida are all key swing states in the 2012 presidential race. Texas is expected to favor Romney. All three states have Republican Governors and Republican controlled state legislatures in both houses.
“I believe with the growth that we have of Hispanic and African American persons there is no doubt that the impact of purging will be severe. Harris county has one of the lowest registrations in the nation — a county that is fourth or fifth in terms of size yet the voter registration is enormously low,” said Jackson Lee.
Reps. Jackson Lee and Marcia Fudge (D-OH) are trying to bring attention to the vote purge in their states. Fudge asserts that at least 1 million voters have been removed from the rolls in Ohio in and around her district centered in Cleveland. In Ohio, voters can be removed from the rolls for not voting in the last two federal elections. Voters removed would have to re-register.
Attorney Bon Fitrakis of Ohio, who has years of experience on the issue of vote purging in Ohio, looked into the matter and found that a million voters were removed from the rolls in the state. He documented what he found in an article last month in The Free Press.
“The Free Press obtained public records from all 88 of Ohio’s county Boards of Elections documenting that 1,092,392 voters were removed from the voting rolls since the last presidential election,” Fitrakis wrote on April 15.
Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. met with the Congressional Black Caucus on May 16th to inform members of the vote purging in Ohio after he met with community leaders and Fitrakis.
Fitrakis used a statute to request voter information from the Board of Elections in Ohio to learn the number of unregistered. Congresswoman Fudge indicated that Attorney General Eric Holder, who met with the CBC this week, was aware of the situation. Rep. Jim Clyburn is also said to have brought the Ohio vote purge up with the Attorney General during the CBC meeting.
LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE, Politic365 Chief Congressional Correspondent, publishes the blog Crewof42 on the Congressional Black Caucus. She can be heard every Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET on WMCS 1290 in Milwaukee on Earl Ingram’s show The Evening Rush as well as on WPFW 89.3 every Friday at 6:30 p.m. and occasionally on WHUR 96.3 in Washington DC. Ms. Burke is a former employee of USA Today, ABC News and Associated Press. You can e-mail her at LBurke007@gmail.com follow her on twitter at @crewof42.