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A weird quirk in the state election code

In light of recent voter fraud allegations, a local attorney well schooled in state election law brought up an interesting point recently while discussing background for another story we were researching: you can move to another city, but if you don’t sign up for a new voter ID card, when election time rolls around, you can drive back to your old hometown and still vote; and it’s all legal. Can’t make the trip? Use a mail-in ballot instead. The attorney asked that he not be named for this story, but he has provided background information for The Advance for years. He is one of the most well-seasoned attorneys in Hidalgo County with regard to municipal and state law. Here’s a quick interview: You and I spoke a while ago, and you mentioned that there is a hole, if you will, in the state election code, whereby people can live in one city, while voting in another. Can you explain? Attorney: “Sure. There’s a provision in the Texas Election Code that basically says that you can vote in the place that you were previously registered, even if you don’t live there anymore. There used to be a time period attached to that – 30 or 60 days, something like that -- but that’s been eliminated. So if you look it (the election code) up today, it says that you’re entitled to vote in the place that you were previously registered so long as you haven’t registered somewhere else.” Can you offer a scenario that would illustrate the way the election code is now written? Attorney: “So let’s say I’m registered to vote in Dallas, and I move to McAllen, but I don’t re-register here to vote.” Okay. Attorney: “So I decide, you know, hey the (Dallas municipal) election’s coming up, so I request a mailin ballot, or I drive back to Dallas, and I’m still registered there, so I’ll vote there. You could even list your current address as the McAllen address, as far as I know. They might quiz you, but you’re still registered there (in Dallas), so you can still vote there. “Whereas, if you attempted to vote in McAllen in that scenario, and you whipped out your registration card, or they (the poll watchers) looked you up, they would say, ‘Wait a minute, you’re not registered here.’ You’d say, ‘Yeah, I’m registered in Dallas.’ They would probably tell you, ‘You can’t vote here because you’re not registered ...

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