Even in Texas, where there seems to be a strong desire to ensure fair elections, ballot-integrity work is foiled because resources and collective resolve are lacking. “We’ve done three noncitizen cases in the past year. … they shouldn’t have been voting and they were voting. We believe there are more of those,” Jeff Mateer, the First Assistant Attorney General of Texas, tells RealClearInvestigations. “Our problem is I’ve got, as of yesterday, two prosecutors and four investigators. That’s not a lot of people to work on, not just these cases, but every election fraud case.”
Mateer adds that his office has a backlog of more than 80 referrals of potential election fraud. The Texas legislature recently approved more money to the AG’s office to deal with election fraud, but the system is overwhelmed.
Engaging the public on the issue in a way that doesn’t immediately devolve into partisan mudslinging about voter rights is also a big challenge. While mailing out thousands of letters questioning people’s citizenship might understandably be painted as voter intimidation, there are also political forces standing in the way of identifying and removing noncitizens from the voter rolls.