Hervis Rogers, a Texas man, was arrested for voting in the last presidential election while being on parole.
Rogers first drew attention when he waited in line for six hours at a Houston polling station to vote. He was the very last person to cast his ballot. At the time, Rogers had tried two other polling stations but left because of the lines. He was also concerned about the fact that he had to be at work early the next morning. Still, he persisted.
“I feel like it’s— I voice my opinion, but it doesn’t feel right if I don’t vote. So I said, ‘I’m going to take a stand and vote. It might make a difference.,” Rogers said at the time.
Now, his sticktoitiveness is being punished because at the time that he voted. He was on parole and, under Texas law, could not legally vote.
Hervis Rogers was sentenced to 25 years in prison for crimes he committed in 1995. He was released in 2004, and his parole was set to end in June 2020, reported NPR. He voted in March 2020 during Super Tuesday.
Attorney General Ken Paxton, who himself was indicted by a grand jury on various crimes in 2015, is now in charge of prosecuting Rogers for the crime of voting illegally. In Texas, the second-degree felony carries a penalty of a minimum of two but a maximum of 20 years.
Paxton also took time to post a highly politicized tweet about Hervis Rogers being arrested and took aim at NPR.
Hervis is a felon rightly barred from voting under TX law. This liberal NPR article even says so, but buries it: “Rogers voted before his parole was scheduled to end, he was likely ineligible to cast a ballot on Election Day.”
I prosecute voter fraud everywhere we find it! https://t.co/cXTjGIXfe1
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) July 9, 2021
Texas law orders that it is illegal for a felon, even if on parole, to knowingly vote. Andre Segura, one of the lawyers handling Rogers’s case, said that this was an innocent mistake.
“Our laws should not intimidate people from voting by increasing the risk of prosecution for, at worst, innocent mistakes,” Segura said.
Indeed, it is strange that someone with malicious intent would stand in line for six hours.
Rogers was released after his $100,000 bail was paid by a non-profit organization.