The man praised as a national hero for his incredible patience in waiting to cast his ballot in last year’s presidential primary was arrested for illegal voting.
Hervis Rogers, a Black citizen, still retained his smile with little sign of frustration after queuing in line to cast his vote for up to six-hour last year has become a symbol of perseverance to get one’s voice heard.
“I wanted to get my vote in, voice my opinion. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me, so I waited it out,” Rogers said at the time, who finally got to vote at 1:30 a.m., according to ABC 13.
But on Wednesday, July 7, Rogers was arrested in Houston and faces two charges of illegal voting, according to Houston Public Media. In addition, he has been subjected to a bail amount of $100,000.
Due to his criminal record, it turned out Rogers was not eligible to vote.
Rogers was sentenced to 25 years in prison for burglary with intent to steal. He was released on parole on May 20, 2004. His parole was due to expire on June 13, 2020. Rogers cast his vote three months before that limit.
Texas is among the places around the United States that forbid people convicted of a crime from voting until their term, including probation and parole, has been completed.
He is now behind bars and unable to afford bail.
“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,” said Andre Segura, the legal director of the Texas ACLU, in a statement.
“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.”
According to criminal defense attorney Christopher Downey, each of the new charges against Rogers would mean up to 25 years in prison per count.
“$100,000 in bonds for a voting infringement seems absurd,” said Downey, who believed that it could have been due to Rogers’ crime history that the man was subjected to the high amount of bond, per the Click 2 Houston.
A GoFundMe account has been created to help fund Rogers’ bail. He is now waiting to be released, and the excess donated money would be used to pay for his legal bills.