A small number of Tarrant County voters have asked that their voting data not be shared with a federal commission exploring voter fraud. Paul Moseley Star-Telegram archives
A small number of Tarrant County voters have asked that their voting data not be shared with a federal commission exploring voter fraud. Paul Moseley Star-Telegram archives


From DFW to Austin to D.C., our insiders take you beyond the usual rhetoric


Trump wants your voter information. Tarrant County voters appear OK with that

By Anna M. Tinsley


July 28, 2017 01:10 PM

When Texas officials announced they wold turn over public information to President Trump’s voter fraud commission, privacy advocates were not happy.

There are no state numbers to show how many people asked that their voter data not be turned over to the commission, state election officials say.

But Tarrant County election officials received two requests from local voters who asked that their information not be sent to D.C.

Not just that — “they wanted their voting history removed,” said Stephen Vickers, Tarrant County’s elections administrator.

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“But I can’t remove someone’s voting history.”

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity earlier this summer called on officials across the country to share voter information, seeking data to shore up the president’s claim that millions of people may have voted illegally last year.

President Donald Trump
Alex Brandon AP

Many states have balked at the request, saying they will only provide information that is available publicly.

In Texas, officials say Social Security numbers won’t be turned over, but data such as the names, addresses and birth dates of most voters will be.

The only time even part of a voter’s information may be hidden is if that person is a domestic violence victim, peace officer, judge or someone in witness protection, Vickers said.

Those people may ask for their information to be hidden and it will be from everyone but election managers. But it will never be removed.

“Voting records are here forever,” Vickers said. “We don’t ever purge it. Even if someone is dead, we show they are a ‘canceled voter,’ that they are deceased. But their information remains.”

Left out...

Texas mayors asked to meet with Gov. Greg Abbott about concerns and some of them will get to do just that.

But mayors from the largest cities — including Fort Worth and Dallas — won’t.

The Texas Municipal League recently noted many of the 18 mayors who signed a letter asking Abbott to meet with them to discuss local control such as tree ordinances, property tax reform and annexation have been scheduled to meet with the governor.

Among them: Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney, Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer and McKinney Mayor George Fuller, who all are scheduled to meet with Abbott on Aug. 2.

Mayors from Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio, however, were not scheduled for any times to meet with Abbott.

Trinity River Vision

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, has worked for years to draw attention and funding to the Trinity River Vision project, a long-term plan to transform the the near north side across the river from downtown.

She recently showed U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fl., chairman of the House Appropriations Transportation Subcommittee, around the area.

“The Trinity River flows through the heart of Fort Worth and is an important part of the culture and economy of the city,” Diaz-Balart said. “Continued revitalization projects to the river and surrounding area will not only improve infrastructure but will also make way for added recreation and entertainment spaces.”

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth
David Kent dkent@star-telegram.com

Granger has long been the leading booster for Trinity River Vision, a project that would divert the river and create an urban lake with a waterfront just north of downtown — one of the biggest public works projects ever to come to Fort Worth.

“The project will restore the river’s surrounding environment, increase Fort Worth’s quality of life, and help sustain the economic health of the central city, which has been constrained by the levee system,” Granger said. “This project presents an opportunity for Fort Worth and Tarrant County to restore the river as a focal point for all citizens rather than being separated from the city by high levees.”

Moving up

Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks is the new president of the National Association of Counties.

“One of my goals is to give the people of Tarrant County a voice at the table when policies that affect them are made in Washington, D.C.,” said Brooks, who was sworn in to office this month at the group’s annual meeting in Ohio. “My role is not to usurp power from our representatives in Washington.

“I hope they consider me as an advocate for the people we serve.”

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley