Prosecutors and elections officials in south Texas are being warned of an apparent scam that invites non-citizens to register to vote in the coming election.
The form has preprinted a “yes” answer to the question of whether the applicant is a United States citizen.
J. Christian Adams, president and general counsel of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, has dispatched letters to appropriate authorities to watch for the applications, which could result in criminal charges against non-citizen applicants.
The documents were in mailers circulated around the Rio Grande Valley by the Texas Democratic Party, Adams’ letters explained.
“Noncitizens usually register to vote at the prompting of another party – usually a DMV clerk. Today, we are raising awareness to how the Texas Democrat Party – unintentionally or otherwise – is offering voter registration to noncitizens,” he wrote.
“Without some form of official intervention, confused noncitizens rather than the Texas Dems will end up paying the consequences of this matter.”
Adams’ warning letters are going to district attorneys, as well as state and federal officials.
The letter explains that when Congress passed the NVRA, it “envisioned a registrant making two separate affirmations of citizenship – both the checkbox as well as the signature attestation.”
“This enables prosecutors to easier establish intent and state of mind when noncitizens illegally register to vote.”
PILF’s letter explains the organization was contacted by a registered voter who saw the forms going to relatives who are legal permanent residents.
“The mail, apparently sent by ‘the Texas Democratic Party, TXDemocrats.org’ with a return address listed under the ‘State Democratic Executive Committee’ contained language to include: ‘Your voter registration application is inside. Complete, sign and return it today!'”
It also warns about mailing it “immediately.”
“The enclosed voter application form was apparently altered, given that the answers for ‘Are you a United States Citizen?’ and ‘Will you be 18 years of age on or before election day?’ were pre-printed ‘Yes’ for each,” the letter explains.
“The approved federal and state voter registration forms do not have prepopulated answers because the voter must answer the important citizenship question on their own.”
The foundation said: “This matter tracks with recent local news reporting in Hidalgo County regarding mailers which generated confusion on the basis that recipients, who were already registered voters, believed they were being prompted to register again using mail appearing to originate from an official source.”
Authorities are being strongly urged to investigate “if and how many returned applications arrived in your local county elections office.”
Attached with the foundation’s referral is an affidavit from a former employee of the 229th Judicial District Attorney, David. C. Kifuri Jr., who initially came forward with the documents.