Texas voters shocked to receive notice that they’ve died

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by khou.com staff

khou.com

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 12 at 11:20 PM

HOUSTON --- Voters who are alive and well say they have been getting letters saying they are dead and off the voter rolls.

More than 9,000 letters went out locally, and thousands more statewide.

“It ticks me off, putting it mildly,” said James Harris Jr.

“To the family, our office has received notification that the voter named above is deceased,” Harris read from the letter. The letter from the Harris County Tax Assessor said the disabled veteran was dead and will no longer be registered to vote.

His daughter has been told that she’s dead too.

A Harris County official apologized to Harris and her father and told them to fill out papers saying they’re still alive. The county also said it will not take any voters’ names off the rolls before the November election, even though the state says it should.

Rich Parsons, a state spokesman, explained that, for the first time, it’s taking its information from the Social Security Administration.

Harris:  Sir, we shouldn’t have all these impediments prior to an election.

Parsons: I couldn’t agree with you more, sir.  Our priority is to protect each individual’s right to vote.”

Harris: If you’re utilizing faulty information something is wrong, wouldn’t you agree, sir?

Parsons:  We follow the directive of the legislature, sir.

Harris:  Yes, but you’re utilizing faulty information or information that is not verifiable. I’d like to see my death certificate.”

KHOU 11 News asked Parsons how many calls he’s heard from people saying they are not dead.

“Honestly, I don’t know how many calls or emails we may have received,” he said.

Harris said it feels like “voter suppression,” and said as long has he has breath, he’ll always fight for his right to vote.

 

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