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Texas elections chief Hope Andrade steps down today

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November 23, 2012

By Maresa Strano

Texas

AUSTIN, Texas: Effective today, Hope Andrade (R) is no longer the Texas Secretary of State. An official statement was posted on the secretary of state website Tuesday after Andrade submitted her letter of resignation to Gov. Rick Perry, who appointed Andrade the first Latina secretary of state in Texas' history in July of 2008. Before the appointment, she was the chair of the Texas Transportation Commission.[1]

“I am truly humbled by the trust and confidence Governor Perry placed in me nearly four and a half years ago and will forever be grateful for the opportunity to represent Texas in this esteemed office, " she said of her tenure overseeing five elections and advising the governor on Mexican affairs during a critical period in the shaping of Mexican border policy.[1]

Andrade's departure comes on the heels of a controversial attempt to purge the states voter rolls of deceased Texans in preparation for the November general election. Enacted last year by the State Legislature to enhance the overall integrity of Texas' elections, the purge was met with skepticism, and in some cases hostility, by a number of county elections supervisors who worried that in the rush to implement the system, thousands of living, eligible Texas voters would end up mislabeled as dead and therefore disenfranchised. One of the approximately 76,000 voters sent notices requesting confirmation of life (or else have their registration canceled) was Wayne Smith, a member of the Texas House of Representatives. As secretary of state, Andrade was responsible for administering the revamped voter roll clean up system.[2] At least two counties temporarily lost funding from the state for refusing to carry out her office's directives per the new law.[3][2]

Perry noted her indelible place in the history books as a pioneer of Hispanic female leadership in Texas. “I’m thankful for her service and I’m proud to call her a friend,” he said after accepting her resignation this week.[2]

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