May 16, 2019

Texas used Help America Vote Act cash for non-citizen voter purge push

Voters in Rosenberg, Texas. Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Texas used about $121,000 in funds from the Help America Vote Act to help pay for its now-scrapped push to purge suspected noncitizens from electoral rolls, the Texas Tribune reported Wednesday.

Details: The Secretary of State’s Office told the paper it was a legitimate use of federal money as it enabled software updates to help with data on people who'd indicated they weren't citizens when obtaining a driver’s license or identity card. Texas Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin) told the Tribune, "HAVA funds should be used to improve voter participation, not remove eligible Texans from the rolls."

Why it matters: In February, a federal judge said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Texas. State officials reached an agreement with civil rights groups in April to halt the voter citizenship review, putting an end to multiple federal lawsuits challenging their controversial plan.


Go deeper: Texas agrees to scrap plan to purge supposed non-citizens from voter rolls

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Humility for forecasters: Jobs shocker is record miss

President Trump speaking in the Rose Garden following the release of the jobs report on May 5, 2020. Photo: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Economists were projecting that May's jobs figures would show a loss of 8 million jobs and an unemployment rate approaching 20% — Great Depression territory.

The state of play: Instead, a record 2.5 million workers were added, and unemployment fell to 13.3% from April's post-World War II high of 14.7%.

Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 6,772,361 — Total deaths: 395,703 — Total recoveries — 2,772,730Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 1,898,401 — Total deaths: 109,137 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci: "Very concerned" about spread of coronavirus amid George Floyd protests — Cities offer free coronavirus testing amid protests
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.

Trump's week of viral quicksand

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Stories about President Trump's photo op at St. John's church after peaceful protesters were forcefully cleared from the area averaged the most online attention of any issue about the president this week.

Why it matters: Trump's force-over-compassion approach to the demonstrators protesting the murder of George Floyd had Republican allies backpedaling to keep a distance — and led to a wave of condemnations that got plenty of online traction on their own.