Hervis Earl Rogers, 62, voted in November 2018 and March 2020, despite being on parole for felony charges, which constitutes an offense in the Lone Star State, according to a June 24 indictment from the Texas attorney general's office. Rogers was convicted of felony burglary in both 1989 and 1995 and was allegedly under parole following a 25-year prison sentence when he cast his ballots.
In Texas, felons are permitted to vote only when they have completed their entire sentence and all terms surrounding their supervised release. The 62-year-old faces up to 40 years in prison for the two counts of illegal ballot casting.
"I figured like it was my duty to vote," Rogers said in March 2020 after indicating he waited more than six hours to vote in last year's Super Tuesday elections. "I wanted to get my vote in to voice my opinion. And I wasn't going to let nothing stop me. So I waited it out."
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, which is representing Rogers in his legal battle, said the 62-year-old made an error when he cast his ballot. He was being held on a $100,000 bond, the group noted, though he was freed from confinement after his bail was posted.
"The arrest and prosecution of Mr. Rogers should alarm all Texans," Andre Segura, the organization's legal director, said in a statement. "He waited in line for over six hours to vote to fulfill what he believed to be his civic duty, and is now locked up on a bail amount that most people could not afford. He faces potentially decades in jail. Our laws should not intimidate people from voting by increasing the risk of prosecution for, at worst, innocent mistakes. We will continue to fight for justice for Mr. Rogers and will push back against efforts to further restrict voting rights.”
The Texas Legislature, under the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott, is in the process of trying to implement new voting reforms in the state. The measures include a requirement for more voter ID on vote-by-mail ballots and a prohibition on sending vote-by-mail applications to those who haven't requested one, among other provisions.
"I will tell you this also, Chris, and that is even Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives, they agree that as it concerns mail-in ballots, that is an area where improving the mail-in ballot system is a way to achieve greater election integrity, so what Texas is doing is we're making it easier to vote by adding more hours of early voting than we had in current law but also making it harder to cheat with regard to mail-in ballots," Abbott said Sunday during a segment on Fox News.
Representatives for the Texas attorney general's office did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.
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Original Author: Jake Dima