Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office today responded to a letter from the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which requested documents relating to Texas’s efforts to safeguard its voting process. Specifically, the Committee appears to be inserting itself into the statutorily-required efforts on the part of state officials to detect and prosecute non-citizen voting.
The letter from First Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey C. Mateer informed the Committee that it lacks any oversight jurisdiction over constitutional officers in the State of Texas. Therefore, its request for documents must be treated as a request under Texas’s Public Information Act and will be processed accordingly. The letter also states that, due to pending litigation and ongoing criminal investigations, the OAG believes information requested by the Committee is exempted from required disclosure under Texas law.
“We appreciate the Committee’s interest in the OAG’s efforts to protect the sanctity of elections in Texas, to promote lawful voting, and to prosecute illegal voting,” First Assistant Mateer wrote in the letter. “Notwithstanding political rhetoric to the contrary, our office has real, first-person experience showing the threat to election integrity in Texas is real .... Illegal voting undermines democracy in our state and deprives lawful voters of an effective voice in the election process. The OAG stands ready to ensure elections in Texas are conducted lawfully and to prosecute individuals who break those laws. We look forward to any assistance and cooperation the Committee can provide in this endeavor.”
From 2005-2017, the attorney general’s office prosecuted 97 defendants for numerous voter fraud violations. In 2018, Attorney General Paxton’s Election Fraud Unit – with assistance from a criminal justice grant from the governor’s office – prosecuted 33 defendants for a total of 97 election fraud violations. In February of 2018, Attorney General Paxton announced a significant voter fraud initiative and addressed key problems and policy areas related to election law.