Consensus Growing Among Counties on Illegality of Battleground Texas' Tactics
Battleground Texas (BGTX) is now facing a growing consensus of county voter registration officials stating they specifically train deputy voter registrars not to provide confidential voter information to third parties.
Bexar County Election Administrator Jacquelyn Callanen told local media yesterday that her office trained the exposed BGTX Field Organizer Jennifer Longoria and administered her oath to protect confidential information from voters—specifically from sharing with a third party like Battleground Texas.
Callanen’s state-mandated training tells potential deputy voter registrars like Longoria to not “make the applicant provide his/her telephone number or keep a copy of the completed voter registration application itself because this document contains information that is confidential by law.”
Voters are not required by law to supply a telephone number on the voter registration form and are not allowed to be copied for third party use.
“We stress this in our classes, it’s in writing, you do not keep that kind of personal information,” Callanen explained.
Harris County Voter Registrar Mike Sullivan’s office aligned with Bexar in their interpretation of the privacy law. In an email to Breitbart Texas, “we train all Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrars to not copy/transcribe confidential information.” Sullivan’s office added, “Anyone, including the Voter Registrar or an organization can file a complaint to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office or the Texas Attorney General if they believe there has been fraudulent activity regarding voter registration.”
Nearby Travis County Voter Registrar Bruce Elfant told a local paper that his office interprets the shared burden of protecting confidential information between county officials and deputized volunteers just as Bexar has done. Travis County explained that BGTX is allowed to retain names and residential addresses. If political groups want phone numbers, however, they must go about procuring them through legal means.
Battleground Texas boasts more than 10,000 volunteers with deputy voter registrar status – many of them operating in Bexar, Harris and Travis Counties.
As Breitbart Texas noted earlier this week--a longstanding political ally of Battleground Texas’ organizers, ACORN shell group Project Vote, brought a lawsuit against the State of Texas in 2012 attacking various voter protection laws. A portion of the litigation challenged the Texas requirement that all deputy voter registrars like Jennifer Longoria and her colleagues be given state-developed training prior to performing field work. The ACORN lawsuit ultimately failed in 2013.
Texas Democratic Party operative Buck Wood was tapped to downplay these matters in the Texas Tribune earlier in the week. Breitbart News’ Ken Klukowski took Mr. Wood to task on his assertions earlier today.
Bexar County Elections addressed the partisan aspect of the story by arguing that this is only a matter of, “keeping the elections process above reproach.”
Follow Logan Churchwell on Twitter @LCChurchwell