In Texas, Republicans Are Trying To Purge Democrats From The Ballot

Screengrab/FOX 4 News - Dallas-Fort Worth/YouTube

If the Republicans succeed, 128 Democratic candidates will be kicked off the 2018 ballot.

Republicans in Dallas County, Texas filed a lawsuit Friday alleging that petitions for 128 Democratic candidates were not signed by the Democratic Party Chairman Carol Donovan and are therefore invalid.

If the Republicans win the lawsuit, all 128 candidates will be kicked off the 2018 ballot.

"The Election Code says the chairman, and nobody else, has to sign them," said Elizabeth Alvarez Bingham, a lawyer for the Dallas County Republican Party. "Carol Donovan is the chair. She was supposed to sign them. She didn't do it."

Some believe the Republicans are less concerned about following the letter of the law than they are winning local elections. State Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, who is one of the candidates targeted, thinks it is about minorities:

"Texas Republicans are constantly looking for ways to disenfranchise minority voters," Johnson said. "They have done it at the state level in Austin and now they are trying to do it at the local level in Dallas County. The vast majority of the Democratic candidates who were targeted by the DCRP's frivolous lawsuit are minorities. This is just the latest attempt by Texas Republicans to take away the ability of minority voters to elect candidates of their choice."

For her part, Donovan believes it is a stunt to undermine the electoral process.

"When it comes to election law and protecting the sanctity of the ballot we take this legal obligation seriously," according to a statement released by the Dallas County Republican Party. "Unfortunately, the Dallas County Democratic Party flouts election law and appears to be resorting to forgery when it comes to the core requirement that their county chair sign candidate petitions. We demand Democratic leadership start upholding the sanctity of signatures."