Listen to this article here
Hervis Rogers, a Texas man who waited in line for 6 hours to vote on Super Tuesday, has been arrested and charged with voting illegally. Mr. Johnson, who faces felony charges, was released from jail after his $100,000 bail was paid by The Bail Project.
Mr. Rogers voted in March 2020 while still on parole for a 1995 felony, a violation of Texas law. Current Texas voting laws state that people who have a felony criminal background may not vote until their parole is complete. Mr. Rogers’ parole ended last month.
Mr. Rogers is charged with two counts of voting illegally. Meanwhile, Texas GOP officials are making an example of Mr. Rogers in order to justify restrictive voting measures due to “widespread” voter fraud.
Texas Republicans pursue restrictions on voting
In a special session on Saturday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott pushed legislators to consider Texas Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 3, both of which further disenfranchise Texas citizens. Included in the bills are a ban on 24-hour and drive-through voting, implementing strict new voter ID requirements for mail-in ballots, a prohibition on absentee ballot applications being sent out proactively, and an expansion of the authority granted to partisan poll watchers.
Out of 11 million votes cast in the last election, Texas found 44 cases of alleged voter fraud. That amounts to .0004%, according to Texas state Senator Roy West, a Democrat, who reminded GOP politicians that they provided no evidence of “widespread” voter fraud during the special session.
Mr. Rogers is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and Nicole DeBorde Hochglaube. Prior to his release on bail, Texas ACLU legal director Andre Segura made a statement, noting “Mr. Rogers is being held in jail on an extremely high bail amount that he cannot afford for what amounts to simply attempting to fulfill his civic duty. This is not justice.”
Texas AG unashamed
This is not the first time that a voter in Texas has been charged with a crime for voting while on parole. In 2016, Crystal Mason was given a provisional ballot while completing parole, which she used to vote. Ms. Mason stated she was unaware of the rules regarding voting while on parole.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ignored complaints that his office is unfairly targeting marginalized communities, stating on Twitter that,” Hervis is a felon rightly barred from voting under TX law,” and proudly bragging, “I prosecute voter fraud everywhere we find it!”