Thursday, October 04, 2012

County officials in Texas try to make black voters prove they are not dead?

[ SOURCE: Houston Chronicle ] Voters in traditionally African-American neighborhoods were disproportionately affected when Harris County officials notified 9,000 people their registrations could be cancelled unless they proved they were not deceased, according to a Chronicle analysis of data obtained from the Texas Secretary of State.

Already, 32 percent of voters who received "Are you dead?" letters across the county in September - just six weeks before the presidential elections - have confirmed they are very much alive, election officials said this week. Because of widespread complaints, no county voters will be purged before the November elections unless their deaths are independently confirmed, according to Don Sumners, the county's tax assessor collector and voter registrar.

The Chronicle's analysis showed that voters living in black districts - specifically created by lawmakers to enhance political representation of blacks on the county commission and the Texas Legislature - received more letters than voters in other districts. Nearly 2,900 live in Harris County Commissioner's Precinct 1 - a minority op portunity district created more than two decades ago that includes most of the county's historically black neighborhoods.

Read more here: 'Dead' voter controversy raises even more concern

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