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Texas vote official quits in purge flap

Nov. 21, 2012 at 1:25 AM

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Hope Andrade resigned Tuesday after four years as Texas' chief elections officer amidst controversy over a purge of dead voters that targeted many still living.

Andrade, who was appointed to the position by Republican Gov. Rick Perry, was the first Hispanic woman to serve as secretary of state. She announced her resignation would take effect at the end of the week, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The voter purge came amidst accusations across the country Republicans were trying to hold down the vote in some communities. Andrew Wheat of Texans for Public Justice said Andrade sent "garbage data to local officials."

Roy Barrera Sr., the first Hispanic secretary of state in Texas in the late 1960s, said he believes there was an effort to suppress the vote, although he said he does not believe Andrade participated. But he suggested the controversy might have convinced her to resign.

"That may have put a little burr under her saddle because she did receive some criticism," Barrera said. "She's been in the limelight. Maybe she wants to dim the lights just a little bit."

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