The dead are surprisingly litigious

Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade probably never expected to be sued by the dead.  This legal nightmare was set into motion by Texas’ own desire to drop the dead from their voter rolls.

The Texas legislature gave the Secretary of State the job of trimming the rolls.  Figuring the Secretary wasn’t a medium*, the Texas legislature told the Secretary to use quarterly reports from the Social Security Administration (SSA) to identify the departed.  SSA reports are compared to voter registration records and voilà!  The dead are gone.

An in-depth comparison of reports and records sounds like a hellish task.  Perhaps that’s why Secretary Andrade came up with a way to make this task easier.

Under the Secretary’s “rule,” if a death record has the same birth date and last four numerals of the social security number of a registered voter, then “the voter registrar is required by State law to mail out…a verification letter to the voter”… [source]

If you don’t answer the registrar’s letter, you’re dead and disenfranchised.  The dead have three problems with Andrade’s rule.  

  1. They’re not actually dead. Andrade’s rule turned thousands of Texans into the living dead (officially the “potentially dead”).  Looks like matching birthdays and the last four digits of a social security number isn’t foolproof.
  2. Andrade created a “rule” (something that ‘…implements, interprets, or prescribes law or policy…’) without input from the public – a violation of the Texas Administrative Procedure Act (TAPA).
  3. Andrade’s “rule” violates Texas’ Election Code

Seems like Andrade’s rule for purging the rolls has some Texas-sized flaws…. 




Top image from Introverted Wife
*Being a medium wouldn’t have helped.  Mainly because nobody can communicate with the dead. You know, because THEY’RE DEAD.
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