HOUSTON – A Houston man who was arrested Wednesday on charges of illegal voting is now out of jail.
Hervis Rogers, 62, was released from the Montgomery County Jail on Saturday after a non-profit group paid his bail.
“$100,000 bail being set on Mr. Rogers under these facts and circumstances was an outrage,” said Robin Steinberg, CEO of The Bail Project.
Rogers made national headlines last March when he was the last person to cast a ballot after waiting in line for more than six hours at a polling site on the Texas Southern University campus.
“I want to get my vote in to voice my opinion,” Rogers told KPRC 2 last year, explaining why he waited so long to take part in the Super Tuesday Democratic primary.
But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Rogers’ votes in 2018 and 2020 were illegal because as a convicted felon still on parole, he was not eligible to vote under state law.
In a tweet, Paxton wrote: “Hervis is a felon rightly barred from voting under TX law ... I prosecute voter fraud everywhere we find it!”
Rogers’ attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas dispute Paxton’s claim that this is an example of voting fraud, calling it an innocent mistake at most.
“Voter fraud does not exist in any widespread manner as claimed by attorney general Paxton. Mr. Rogers’ case is not the poster child for Paxton’s mission,” said Andre Segura, legal director for the ACLU of Texas.
Segura said Rogers had no intention of breaking the law and didn’t know he was doing anything wrong, calling it an innocent mistake.
“Under Texas law, to be convicted of illegal voting you actually have to know that you’re ineligible to vote and have voted anyways. He’s truly devastated that this has come back to him in this way. He’s scared about the situation,” said Andre Segura, legal director for the ACLU of Texas.
Paxton has not explained his decision to prosecute the cases against Rogers in Montgomery County instead of Harris County, but some legal experts believe it’s politically motivated.
Rogers’ next court appearance is in August.