Hervis Rogers, hailed for waiting hours to vote in Texas primaries, arrested for 'illegal voting'
HOUSTON, TEXAS: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office has brought charges against a Houston man after he allegedly voted illegally in last year’s presidential primary. Hervis Rogers is the same man, who became a national hero when he cast his vote at 1 am on Super Tuesday 2020. At the time, he was praised for being a tenacious, civic-minded man who waited in line for hours in Harris County to exercise his right to vote.
At the time, he had said, “I wanted to get my vote in, voice my opinion. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me, so I waited it out.” However, on Wednesday, July 7, Rogers was taken into custody in the South Acres neighborhood in Houston. Reports said the AG's office is prosecuting the case in Montgomery County, where he has been pressed with two counts of illegal voting charges. He has to pay $100,000 as bail.
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Paxton's office has alleged that Rogers exercised his right to vote while on parole for a conviction for burglary and intent to commit theft. In 1995, the Black man was awarded 25 years behind bars, but on May 20, 2004, he was released on parole. His parole was set to end on June 13, 2020. Under Texas state law, people convicted of a felony are not allowed to vote until they complete their prison time, including probation and parole. And, since the Texas primaries happened in March last year, while Rogers was still on parole, his vote was deemed illegal. The ACLU of Texas and defense attorney Nicole DeBorde Hochglaube are representing him. ACLU of Texas legal director Andre Segura said, “Mr. Rogers is being held in jail on an extremely high bail amount that he cannot afford for what amounts to simply attempting to fulfill his civic duty. This is not justice.”
Segura added: “The arrest and prosecution of Mr Rogers should alarm all Texans. He waited in line for over six hours to vote to fulfill what he believed to be his civic duty, and is now locked up on a bail amount that most people could not afford. He faces potentially decades in jail. Our laws should not intimidate people from voting by increasing the risk of prosecution for, at worst, innocent mistakes.”
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe has been launched to help Rogers. The message on the fundraising stated, “Mr. Rogers was arrested for voting in the Democratic primary 3 months before his 15 year parole was set to end. Mr. Rogers thought he was eligible to vote when he cast his ballot, which makes sense as you have to be a registered Democrat to vote in the primary! AG Paxton is prosecuting the case in Montgomery County, one of the most conservative venues in the entire state, even though Mr. Rogers lives in Harris County and cast his ballot in Harris County. The only reason Paxton brought this case in Montgomery County is because he thought it would be an easier venue in which to convict Mr. Rogers. This is a grave miscarriage of justice--something that is very familiar to Mr. Paxton, who himself is under indictment on felony security fraud charges.” Sam Sherman, who has started the fundraiser, added: “Judge Lisa Michalk set Mr. Rogers bail at $100,000. This is, and I can't think of another word for it, absolutely insane. I am trying to raise money to bail Mr. Rogers out of jail. He is being held on an unreasonably high bail amount that he cannot afford because he thought he was fulfilling his civic duty to vote. Please donate what you can.”
People on Twitter were also discussing Rogers' case as most sided with him. A user tweeted, “What, wait! Why can't we be treated fairly? Not better just fairly. I'm disgusted with this legal system. Justice isn't blind...it can see and it knows exactly who to target.” Another one asked, “If he wasn't legally allowed to vote, why did they give him a ballot to vote on in the 1st place?” “He just needs to tell Paxton that he voted for Trump. Problem will disappear,” a person added.
What, wait! Why can't we be treated fairly? Not better just fairly. I'm disgusted with this legal system. Justice isn't blind...it can see and it knows exactly who to target.— Leslie Palmer (@lypalmer1969) July 10, 2021
If he wasn't legally allowed to vote, why did they give him a ballot to vote on in the 1st place?— BJEJJT7109 (@johnjohnson7109) July 10, 2021
He just needs to tell Paxton that he voted for Trump. Problem will disappear.— Suzanne Painter (@SRPainter) July 10, 2021