Last week The Texan broke the exclusive story that Hervis Rogers, subject of multiple national media stories about election night wait times in Harris County, was not legally eligible to vote.
Now an official complaint has been filed with the Texas Secretary of State.
Although media stories heralded Rogers for reportedly waiting in line for nearly 7 hours to cast his vote, records from the Texas Department of Public Safety indicate Rogers is on parole for a second-degree felony offense conviction for burglary.
Rogers has a criminal history dating back to at least 1986, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has also confirmed his parole will not end until June 13, 2020.
Under Texas Election Law, (Sec. 11.002) convicted felons are not eligible to vote until the convicted has “fully discharged the person’s sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by any court.”
Open records obtained from the county show Rogers’ signed a voter registration application on November 29, 2016, and the county received that application on December 2, 2016.
In December of 2016, Mike Sullivan (R) was still serving as the Harris County Tax-Assessor Collector and Voter Registrar, but had just lost the 2016 election to Ann Harris Bennet (D) who was sworn into office in January of 2017.
In addition to the vote he cast in last week’s Democratic primary, records indicate that Rogers also voted in the 2018 general elections.
Last Friday, Harris County Republican precinct chair and attorney Rachel Hooper filed an official complaint with the Texas Secretary of State. Hooper’s complaint notes that on his application Rogers swore that he was not finally convicted or on parole.
Once a complaint is referred from the Secretary of State, the Texas Attorney General is responsible for carrying out an investigation and possible prosecution.
Under Texas law, providing false information on a voter registration card is a misdemeanor, but illegal voting is a second-degree felony (Sec. 64. 012).
The Harris County Voter Registrar’s office told Dave Urbanski of The Blaze that “a challenge notification will be issued to Rogers requiring him to submit evidence of eligibility within 30 days. The registration will be cancelled if Rogers does not supply such evidence within that 30-day period.”
According to unofficial totals posted by Clerk Diane Trautman, in Harris County, some 321,903 voters participated in the Democratic presidential primary and 192,985 in the Republican presidential primary.
There are more than 2.2 million registered voters in Harris County.
Holly Hansen is a freelance writer living in Cypress, Texas. Her former column, “All In Perspective” ran in The Georgetown Advocate, Jarrell Star Ledger, and The Hill Country News, and she has contributed to a variety of Texas digital media outlets. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida with a degree in History, and in addition to writing about politics and policy, also writes about faith and culture.