Lege Lines: Senate Still Hasn’t Confirmed Texas Secretary of State David Whitley

Architect of recent "voter fraud" fiasco shifts blame to DPS

David Whitley
David Whitley (Photo by John Anderson)

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott in December, but he still needs confirmation from the Senate. At his hearing before the Senate Committee on Nominations last week, he was roasted for the "voter fraud" fiasco he unleashed on the state, with an error-ridden list of 95,000 registered voters the SoS said were potentially not U.S. citizens. Three civil rights lawsuits later, Whitley was asked by Nominations Vice Chair Sen. Kirk Watson if he was "willing to admit" to any mistakes in the voter list. Whitley, formerly an aide to Abbott, placed the blame on "trusting" data from the Department of Public Safety – which, he admitted, he did not review at all before blasting out his advisory to all 254 counties to investigate potential illegal voting – which spurred Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the state GOP (in a fundraising appeal), and then President Trump to hit the panic button on social media. While Nominations Chair Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, had said the committee would take a vote on the nomination this week, she since has punted the decision into the future without explanation. On Monday, adding more fuel to the fire, Keith Ingram, SoS director of elections, told the House Elections Commit­tee that Whitley's office "understood that there was a significant possibility that some of those folks had since become naturalized."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Mike Clark-Madison
Austin at Large: The City That Never Shrinks
Austin at Large: The City That Never Shrinks
“Austin’s rapid growth” has become background noise. We should bring it up front.

May 14, 2021

May 1 Special Election Results: Austin Voters Tell City Leaders What They Don't Like
May 1 Special Election Results: Austin Voters Tell City Leaders What They Don't Like
Strong-mayor proposal fails spectacularly, while voters say "yes" to reinstating public camping ban

May 7, 2021

More by Michael King
Review: <i>You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey</i>
Review: You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey
UT could learn a lot from these "crazy stories about racism"

April 13, 2021

SXSW Film Review: <i>Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America</i>
SXSW Film Review: Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America
Jeffery Robinson's captivating lecture on America's shared legacy

March 24, 2021

More by Austin Sanders
APD
APD "Reimagined" Training Academy Still a Work in Progress
Adoption of new curriculum for pilot cadet class scheduled for May 31

May 14, 2021

City Lays Out Slow, Steady Plan to Enact Prop B
City Lays Out Slow, Steady Plan to Enact Prop B
Arrests will be a "last resort" in phased plan to move camp residents over coming months

May 14, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

86th Texas Legislature, David Whitley, voter purge, Greg Abbott, Kirk Watson, Ken Paxton, Dawn Buckingham, Donald Trump, Keith Ingram

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle