Wisdom and Cleverness

Growing Voter Fraud Concerns Spur Interest in States Attorneys General Role

The Texas Supreme Court has ordered Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins to cease his plan to send out $12 millions worth of ballots to Houston area voters.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against Hollins on last week after Hollind Hollins promised to send more than two million mail ballot even after he had been warned and the legal opinion had been given to all counties’ attorneys general.

New Jersey experienced massive mail fraud this summer.

Hollins was planning on sending applications to voters regardless of whether they qualify to vote by mail. In Texas, only voters 65 or older, those in jail or with a disability can be eligible for a mail ballot. 

The growing cases against voter fraud across the country has meant record numbers of indictments, arrests and jail time for criminals. Paxton, as many AGs, would rather mitigate and prevent the crimes.

This news has peaked the interests of Americans even beyond Texas as growing concerns of voter fraud peaks.

Voter fraud is more likely with mail in ballots.

Many voting Americans don’t quite understand the importance of this leadership role at the state level. Here is a quick primer citizens should be familiar with:

All 50 states have an attorney general who serves as the state’s chief legal officer.

The attorney general is responsible for enforcing state law and advising the state government on legal matters.

In the last decade, Republicans have more state attorney generals than Democrats.

In many states, attorneys general play a large role in the law enforcement process. 

In most states, the attorney general has a substantial influence on a state’s approach to law enforcement. Attorneys general often set particular law enforcement priorities (e.g. drug law, civil rights violations or sexual crime) and focus extra resources on these issues.

The attorney general is directly elected in 43 states and Washington, D.C.

Ten states are holding elections for attorney general on November 3.

Maine’s state legislature appoints its attorney general.

The Tennessee Supreme Court appoints its state attorney general.

In five states—Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Wyoming—the governor appoints the attorney general.

The current partisan affiliation of attorneys general is as follows: 

22 were elected as—or are running for office as—Republicans, 21 were elected as Democrats. 

Three were appointed by Republican governors, two were appointed by Democratic governors, 

One was elected by a Democratic-controlled state legislature, and one was appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court. 

In 36 states, the attorney general has the power to take over a case handled by a local prosecutor without instructions from the governor or legislature, although this power is restricted to certain cases in 22 of those states.

Categories: Wisdom and Cleverness

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