Texas’ Arrest of Black Parolee-Voter Was Intimidation, AGs Say

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The arrest of a Black man in Texas for casting ballots while on parole is a blatant attempt to intimidate voters, a group of Democratic state attorneys general said.

The prosecution of Hervis Rogers, whose 2004 parole was set to expire three months after the March 2020 Harris County Democratic primary, also serves to “stoke fears” about Republicans’ false claims of rampant voter fraud nationwide, according to a joint statement issued Thursday by seven AGs, including New York’s Letitia James and Connecticut’s William Tong. In Texas it’s illegal to vote while on parole. 

“Texas is disguising voter suppression as election security and disenfranchising millions in the process,” the AGs said.

It’s the latest example of Democratic AGs criticizing their Texas counterpart, Republican Ken Paxton, for echoing the false claims of widespread voter fraud. In December Paxton led 18 states in a failed attempt to overturn the result of the 2020 election and give Donald Trump a second term as president.

In a July 12 statement on his website, Paxton said Rogers had been arrested the previous week without incident for voting illegally in “multiple elections,” including a 2018 special and general election.

Rogers served time for a 1995 conviction “for burglary and intent to commit theft,” the Guardian reported, adding that he met this week with Crystal Mason, a Texas woman who faces five years behind bars for voting illegally in 2016.

The attorneys general of Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and the District of Columbia also signed on to the statement.

Paxton’s office didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment on it.

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