Texas’s acting secretary of state, David Whitley (R), resigned Monday just months after leading the botched voter purge of nearly 100,000 suspected noncitizens that erroneously also targeted U.S. citizens, efforts that drew rebukes from a federal judge and numerous voter rights groups.
Whitley’s departure came as the Texas Senate failed to confirm him to the position by a two-thirds majority on the last day of the legislative session. He submitted his resignation letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) “effective immediately” just before the final gavel, as reported by the Austin American-Statesman. Abbott accepted his resignation shortly afterward, praising his “moral character and integrity.”
Whitley, a gubernatorial appointee and former aide to Abbott, spent less than six months overseeing Texas elections. He will leave office best known for the disastrous elections-integrity operation that wrongly identified thousands of naturalized citizens as suspected noncitizens illegally registered to vote.
He revealed the investigation in January, causing unsupported fears of rampant voter fraud while emboldening Republican politicians who had made similar voter fraud claims — including President Trump. Whitley’s office had claimed that, of 95,000 suspected noncitizens, 58,000 had voted in at least one Texas election over the last 18 years. Letters sent to all those suspected noncitizens threatened to disenfranchise them unless they proved their citizenship within 30 days.
The numbers on this, “A federal judge ordered Whitley to stop his voter purge of noncitizens after it turned out only about 80 on his original list had actually been ineligible to vote.”
I am sure that Greg Abbot will find someone even worse.