The Texas Democratic Party has been sending out official voter registration applications to people who have been dead for years, sometimes decades, according to KTVT-TV. State government officials said they've also received complaints of applications being sent to non-citizens.
The voter registration applications included a stamped return envelope addressed to the Texas Secretary of State.
Ola Allen of Dallas was affected by the party's indiscretion. She said she received a voter registration application in the mail for her husband, who has been dead for almost three years. Shortly after, she received a voter registration application for her mother — who also died, just about two years ago.
Allen chalked up the voter registration applications to a simple oversight, since her husband and mother died in relatively recent years.
Then she received a voter registration application for her daughter, who was just 21 years old when she passed away — in 1989.
"I just said, 'This can't be real," Allen told KTVT, and said that this application — her third — was nothing short of upsetting. "I just set it down because I lost it. I really lost it."
Allen added, "My daughter has been gone 20-plus years and this doesn't do a thing but open up an old wound for me."
Allen told the station that she wasn't necessarily concerned about voter fraud when she received the applications for her deceased family.
What she is concerned about is the state of political affairs in the United States.
"'Any means that it takes to get to the top, that’s what I am going to do.' That’s what this tells me," Allen said of the applications. "I just hope whoever sends these out will think about what they are doing."
Has there been a response?
A spokesperson for the Texas Democratic Party said that the application mailers were part of an "unprecedented investment to provide eligible Texans with the opportunity to vote."
Executive Director Manny Garcia said that the Texas Democratic Party purchased data sets in order to reach as many unregistered voters as possible — and then attempted to deflect anger onto the Texas Republican Party.
"In Texas, churches, clubs, community organizations, nonprofits, political parties and campaigns are left to use imperfect data to overcome cumbersome voter registration obstacles," Garcia explained. "Unfortunately, Texas’ Republican government is anti-voter. After years of voting rights court cases and ranking last in country for voter turnout, it is clear that Republicans have done everything in their power to make it harder for eligible Texans to vote."
Texas Republican Chairman James Dickey is not happy with the Democratic Party's move and called it "utterly abhorrent."
In a statement, Dickey said, "We believe our right to vote is the foundation of our country and encourage all who are eligible to do so. … However, what Republicans stand for is restoring integrity to the voter registration rolls and reducing voter fraud. That is why we believe that voters should show proof of residency and citizenship along with their voter registration application."
According to the station, the secretary of state's office said it received several complaints of applications being sent from the Democratic Party to deceased people and those people who are not citizens of the United States.