AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Texas’ election chief has apologized for releasing a botched list of nearly 100,000 voters whose citizenship was called into question before being fully vetted.
Texas Secretary of State David Whitley previously refused to acknowledge mistakes in the three weeks since his office gave prosecutors a voter list that included tens of thousands of U.S. citizens who were wrongly flagged.
But in a letter to lawmakers Wednesday, Whitley said “more time should have been devoted” to vetting the names. President Donald Trump seized on the reports out of Texas to renew unsubstantiated claims of rampant voter fraud.
The letter comes as Whitley’s nomination is in jeopardy. During his confirmation hearing last week, Senator Kirk Watson, D-Austin, asked Whitley if he would ask the Attorney General’s Office to delay investigating and prosecuting people on the list. Whitley responded, “I think that’s a reasonable request. I’m not sure it’s appropriate coming from my office because I don’t have any investigative authority.”
Whitley was appointed by Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott but is still awaiting Senate confirmation.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the national ACLU, the Texas Civil Rights Project, Demos, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law have sued the state for creating and rolling out the flawed list.
Whitley’s letter to lawmakers was first reported by the Texas Tribune.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)