Emails, responses to PolitiFact Texas, Lauren Bean, deputy communications director, Office of the Attorney General of Texas, July 16-20, 2012

306 pm

July 16, 2012

Here is a link to a Fact Sheet we put out on the information provided in trial - you'll see that SOS's Director of Elections testified during the trial that they have found 239 people who voted in the May primary who were actually dead when they supposedly voted. This is on the bottom of page 4: https://www.oag.state.tx.us/newspubs/releases/2012/071312voterid_fact_sheet.pdf

 

And in the attached transcript, you will find the info on pages 65-66.

423 pm

July 16, 2012

Gardner - one quick little point I wanted to make - keep in mind that this information was given as sworn testimony, under oath.

548 pm

July 16, 2012

Gardner,

 

Looking at the excerpt below and based on a conversation I had with SOS, for the other six, at least one of those pieces of info (i.e. SSN, DOB, or name) didn't match up completely on the death certificate.

 

14 Q. Of the ten death certificates you received how many of

15 them do you think may have been dead people who voted in the

16 May elections?

17 A. Four.

18 Q. And what led you to conclude from review of the death

19 certificates that those four people had voted?

20 A. Their social security numbers matched, the names matched,

21 the date of births matched and they pre deceased before, they

22 pre deceased before the election. One March of 2012, the rest

23 of them from 2004, 2006, 2009.

 

 

But, General Abbott's comment on Fox News yesterday that there were over 200 dead voters in the May 2012 election was based on this part of Mr. Ingram's testimony:

 

10 Q. Mr. Ingram, based on the voter data information you got

11 just from this May election, that you say you loaded into TEAM

12 on June 28th, do you have any evidence of deceased voters

13 having their cards used?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. What is that evidence?

16 A. We learned that there was a list of 50,000 voters that

17 were registered with active voter unique identification numbers

18 and I asked for a copy of that list so that we could check

19 those against the voting history that we received on June 28th.

20 Q. What is your understanding where that 50,000, who

21 discovered it?

22 A. It's my understanding that this was information provided

23 by the Department of Justice.

24 Q. What number did you say were people that you think may

25 have voted who were dead?

66

1 A. We believe 239 folks voted in the recent election after

2 passing away.

 

 

Finally, the cross-examination of Mr. Ingram starts on page 75 of the transcript I sent you.

 

 

Let me know if you have any other questions.

 

Thanks,

Lauren

 

 

 

Lauren Bean

Deputy Communications Director

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

>>> "Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)" <wgselby@statesman.com> 7/16/2012 4:50 PM >>>

14 Q. Of the ten death certificates you received how many of

15 them do you think may have been dead people who voted in the

16 May elections?

17 A. Four.

18 Q. And what led you to conclude from review of the death

19 certificates that those four people had voted?

20 A. Their social security numbers matched, the names matched,

21 the date of births matched and they pre deceased before, they

22 pre deceased before the election. One March of 2012, the rest

23 of them from 2004, 2006, 2009.

540 pm

July 17, 2012

To be clear, your statement that “four to 200-plus individuals might have used registration cards belonging to deceased Texans” is incorrect. Instead, Mr. Ingram testified – under oath – that 239 votes were cast for dead people, of which 213 were cast in-person. Those facts were “proved” in a court of law at the time Mr. Ingram testified. Those facts were subject to cross-examination by lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice, lawyers for other parties and three federal judges, and remain uncontroverted to this day.

 

The 239 votes cast for dead people was arrived at as follows: Every seven to ten days, the Texas Secretary of State's office receives a report from the State Bureau of Vital Statistics listing individuals in Texas who have died. That information is matched to the Voter Registration database to reflect that a voter is deceased.

 

The SOS used the voter unique identification numbers (a unique identifier given to each registered voter) from the 57,718 deceased voters in DOJ's Voter Registration No ID list and determined that the voter unique identification number of at least 239 deceased individuals had been used to cast ballots in the May 2012 primary election.

 

The votes cast for people who are deceased are under investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

(PolitiFact Inquiry)

To be clear, what I have now is the testimony by the director of the elections division indicating four to 200-plus individuals might have used registration cards belonging to deceased Texans, though none of these possible instances appear to have been investigated, or proved, at the time he testified.

 

Lauren,... I’d appreciate an interview with the appropriate official or officials in your office or any other about how the Secretary of State’s office made its analysis and anything else that bears on AG Abbott’s statement.

 

Thanks.

1007 am

July 18, 2012

There were 57,718 registered voters in Texas who are deceased who were included in information DOJ presented at trial. From that list, the SOS was able to determine that the voter unique identification number of 239 of those deceased voters had been used to cast a ballot in the May election.

>>> "Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)" <wgselby@statesman.com> 7/17/2012 5:41 PM >>>

Can you illuminate the reference to data gathered by DOJ?

1239 pm

July 20, 2012

The independent observer is the trial transcript of testimony - under oath - which differs from unsworn comments and rhetoric by critics and politicians. The dead voter number was subject to cross examination by judges, DOJ lawyers and lawyers for groups hostile to Voter ID.

 

Thanks,

Lauren

>>> "Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)" <wgselby@statesman.com> 7/20/2012 11:29 AM >>>

 

Is there an independent observer of the trial who has said Texas proved more than 200 dead people voted?

120 pm

July 20, 2012

- I consulted with SOS on your questions below and they sent me the following answers:

 

 

Ingram said this in his testimony that the office had not conducted such an investigation before because officials had not had both a list of active registered voters who are deceased and a record of who had voted in elections statewide. Is this correct?  yes.

 

Which list was previously not available?  Neither.  When we discover deceased persons, we cancel them from the rolls using the process described below.  The new wrinkle here was that DPS said these folks were deceased and DOJ found them to have active voter registrations.  Back in 2007, the state auditor found 23K deceased persons on the active voter registration rolls, but not the more than 50K that DOJ found.

 

That brings us to the second piece.  In 2011, the legislature passed section 18.068 (the second one of two sections with the same number) requiring counties to report their voting history for all voters for all primary, runoff primary, general elections and special elections called by the governor.  Prior to the passage of this sections, providing voter history to the Secretary of State’s office was voluntary.  This means that the information provided by the counties to the SOS by June 28 was the first batch of statewide voting history ever received.

 

In the 2007 Auditors report, they checked the voluntary voting history in the May 2007 constitutional amendment election against the 23K deceased voters and found no matches.  However, this time for the first time we had more than twice the number of deceased voters to check and a full statewide database of voting history to check in an election with more than twice as much turnout.

 

We never had a list of over 50k active registered voters reported to be deceased and we never had a statewide voter history to check to see if any of these deceased voters “voted.”

 

If I read right, you told me earlier that information on who’s died is regularly sent over to state election officials. It seems surprising that the state wouldn’t have previously known who voted in each election.  The law requiring all counties to submit all voting history was passed in the 2011 regular session.  This was the first election with that law in effect.  We had partial voting history submitted on a voluntary basis by some counties prior the passage of that law.

 

>>> "Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)" <wgselby@statesman.com> 7/20/2012 12:06 PM >>>

A new question:

 

Ingram said this in his testimony that the office had not conducted such an investigation before because officials had not had both a list of active registered voters who are deceased and a record of who had voted in elections statewide.

 

Is this correct?

 

Which list was previously not available?

 

If I read right, you told me earlier that information on who’s died is regularly sent over to state election officials. It seems surprising that the state wouldn’t have previously known who voted in each election.

 

??

 

W. Gardner Selby

 

PolitiFact Texas