Cummings and Raskin Seek Compliance from Texas in Voter Suppression Probe

Apr 29, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Apr. 29, 2019)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, sent a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and a letter to Acting Texas Secretary of State David Whitley following up on the Committee’s previous letters seeking documents regarding efforts to purge voter rolls in Texas.

“The right to vote is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and Congress has clear authority under the Constitution to investigate any conduct at any level of government that may infringe on this fundamental right,” the Chairmen wrote.  “The Committee has a bipartisan history of investigating issues affecting Americans’ right to vote, including the administration of elections by state governments.  The Committee also has a long history—under both Republican and Democratic Chairmen—of obtaining documents from state governments as part of its investigations.”

Cummings and Raskin requested the documents on March 28, 2019.  Attorney General Paxton and Acting Secretary of State Whitley responded to the Committee with incomplete and inadequate productions, citing an inapplicable state public records law and ongoing litigation to withhold documents from the Committee.  The Texas Attorney General also wrongly asserted that the Committee lacks jurisdiction to request documents from state agencies.

In their letters today, the Chairmen explain that the Committee’s authority derives from the Constitution and is not limited by state public records laws or separate, ongoing litigation.

In contrast with this lack of compliance from Texas, other states have agreed to voluntarily comply with the Committee’s voting-related document requests.

Click here to read today’s letter to the Texas Attorney General.

Click here to read today’s letter to the Acting Texas Secretary of State.  

Issues: 
116th Congress