Judge puts brakes on voter purge in Texas


A judge has temporarily halted Texas’ attempt to purge the state’s voter rolls of the deceased after thousands of very much alive residents received letters asking them to prove their existence, Reuters reports.

Among the voters who received a notice in the mail was Wood’s son Dylan Wood, also an Austin lawyer.

“It was a little puzzling - I’m 42 years old,” said Dylan Wood, one of the four voters suing state and local officials. “I still would like to know what it is that led them to believe I was dead.”

Texas has long purged dead voters from the rolls, but a new state law passed with little fanfare in 2011 requires the state to use information from the Social Security Administration to evaluate the rolls.

A hearing is set for October 4, but for now, state officials must cease sending out the letters and removing those individual cases from the rolls that are deemed “weak.” Obvious dead people—those whose name, date of birth, and social security number match those of a known deceased person—can still be removed as is customary in most states.

Texas is just one state among the many GOP-led efforts to restrict voting this election season through various means, including voter roll purges, new ID requirements, and altering voting times.