Hervis Rogers, the man who went viral for waiting over 6 hours to vote in the 2020 presidential primary on Super Tuesday, is now being prosecuted for voting illegally.
Rogers was convicted in 1995 for burglary and intent to commit theft and served 25 years in prison. He was released on parole in May 2004 and his parole was set to end on June 13, 2020.
However, since he voted prior to completing his parole, Rogers was ineligible to vote despite being registered.
In Texas and other states across the nation, it is illegal for anyone convicted of a felony to vote until they have completed both probation and parole.
Additional voting restrictions are currently being discussed in the special legislative session.
Rogers, who is being represented by the ACLU, was arrested on Wednesday for two counts of illegal voting. His bail is set at $100,000.
“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,” said Andre Segura ACLU of Texas legal director.
But this is not the first time Texas has seen a case like this. In 2016, Crystal Mason voted while out on federal supervised release, unaware that she was ineligible to vote. She was arrested six months later.
Further, there is concern the law disproportionately impacts people of color. Across the nation it can be found that black people are more likely to be incarcerated. Data found that while 13 percent of the population are Black Americans, they make up a disproportionate 34 percent of the correctional population.
However, the concern is the lack of education among those who cannot vote. In both cases, Rogers and Mason were unaware of the laws in place preventing them from legally voting.
A bill in 2007, approved by both the House and Senate, required the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to notify anyone released from custody on their voting eligibility status and provide more information on the subject.
The bill was vetoed by former Governor Rick Perry.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is spearheading Rogers’ case.