Texas Election Chief’s Nomination Advances Amid Bogus Voter List Uproar

Secretary of State David Whitley, left, arrives for his confirmation hearing, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Austin, Texas, where he addressed the backlash surrounding Texas' efforts to find noncitizens on voter rolls. Whitley denies his office made mistakes over a list of 95,000 voters whose U.S. citizenship was called into question but included thousands of wrongly flagged names. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Secretary of State David Whitley, left, arrives for his confirmation hearing, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Austin, Texas, where he addressed the backlash surrounding Texas' efforts to find noncitizen voters on voter ro... Secretary of State David Whitley, left, arrives for his confirmation hearing, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Austin, Texas, where he addressed the backlash surrounding Texas' efforts to find noncitizen voters on voter rolls. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) MORE LESS
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February 28, 2019 12:35 p.m.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The nomination of Texas’ embattled secretary of state is advancing a day after a federal judge blamed him for wrongly questioning the U.S. citizenship of tens of thousands of voters.

A Senate committee voted 4-3 along party lines Thursday to send Secretary of State David Whitley’s nomination to the full chamber. But Democrats have signaled they have enough votes to ultimately reject Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s choice for chief Texas elections officer.

Whitley’s future has been in jeopardy since his office released a deeply flawed list of 98,000 registered voters identified as potential non-citizens. The list stoked Republican claims of potential voter fraud but failed to exclude scores of naturalized U.S. citizens.

A federal judge Wednesday ruled that Whitley “created this mess” and blocked the removal of any registered voters.

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