A Houston man who received widespread attention after standing six hours in line to cast a ballot in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary was in jail Friday on charges that it was illegal for him to vote at all because he was on parole.
Hervis Rogers became an overnight face of Texas’ battle over voting access when he emerged from a polling center at a historically Black college around 1:30 a.m. He was among Houston voters on Super Tuesday who waited more than an hour, in some cases several hours to cast their vote. He was arrested this week on two counts of illegal voting, a second-degree felony that carries a possible sentence of two to 20 years in prison. His bail was set at $100,000.
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“The way it was set up, it was like it was set up for me to walk away,” Rogers told reporters in comments carried by multiple news outlets, including The Associated Press. Rogers, 62, voted last March while still on parole from a felony burglary conviction, making him ineligible to cast a ballot under Texas law. Andre Segura, an attorney for the ACLU of Texas who is representing Rogers, said his client was unaware he was ineligible to vote.
“Mr. Rogers made headlines after waiting hours for what he thought was his civic duty, and was very proud of that,” Segura said. “We shouldn’t be prosecuting people for innocent mistakes.” Courts records show Rogers is being prosecuted by the office of Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Paxton’s spokesman did not immediately reply to questions about Rogers’ indictment.