Texas already seceded once — in 1861, by popular vote in a statewide election.
But the Texas Nationalist Movement wants a repeat a century and a half later, and thinks the March GOP primary is the place to start.
The Nederland-based Texas independence group is circulating a petition aimed at getting a non-binding vote onto the GOP primary ballot over whether “the state of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.”
Their goal? 75,000 signatures from registered voters by Dec. 1 — more than the 66,894 the Texas Secretary of State’s office says the group needs to get the language on the ballot.
Even if the Texas Nationalist Movement gets enough signatures, such a vote would be little more than symbolic. Academics agree that Texas cannot secede from the United States, and point to a post-Civil War Supreme Court ruling, Texas v. White, as evidence.
But that hasn’t stopped the Republican Party of Texas from rolling its eyes at the secessionists. Texas GOP communications director Aaron Whitehead said the Republican party certainly doesn’t welcome outside groups trying to doctor the party ballot.
“Historically the executive committee of the Republican Party has chosen what goes on this,” Whitehead said, “and it’s party preference that it stays that way.”
Read more: texastribune.org