Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
As attorney general, Ken Paxton fought to make it harder to vote through intimidation tactics. During the pandemic, Paxton interpreted Texas law to exclude fear of the coronavirus as a reason to request an absentee ballot. As multiple legal challenges related to absentee voting during the pandemic worked through various state and federal courts, Paxton threatened “criminal sanctions” for anyone advising voters to apply for a mail-in ballot based “solely on fear of contracting COVID-19.” In 2019, Paxton took part in a disastrously mismanaged effort to purge Texas voter rolls of noncitizens. In January of 2019, the state released a list of nearly 100,000 possible noncitizens on its rolls and Paxton quickly announced he planned to open a potentially sprawling investigation. But by February, a federal judge halted the attempted purge, saying the investigation created a “mess” and was “ham-handed.” Paxton has also defended congressional districts that a federal court found in 2017 violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act by diluting the voting power of minority voters.
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