Texas AG Busts ‘Organized Mail Ballot Fraud,’ 134 Felony Charges Announced
Four people have been arrested on a Texas-sized stack of felony charges after allegedly trying to rig a 2018 election through manipulating votes cast by mail.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday announced that Gregg County Commissioner Shannon Brown and three others will face 134 felony charges in connection with a ballot harvesting operation that took place during a Democratic primary election, according to a news release on Paxton’s official website.
The indictment against the four people charged said that the effort targeted young voters who did not know what was taking place. The four are charged with marking applications for mail-in ballots claiming that the voters in question were disabled when they were not.
The 134 felony charges include engaging in organized election fraud, illegal voting, fraudulent use of an application for a mail-in ballot, unlawful possession of a mail-in ballot, tampering with a governmental record and election fraud.
Coming at a time when President Donald Trump is warning Americans about the potential for fraud in states that are mass-mailing ballots to registered voters, Paxton said the case is concerning.
“It is an unfortunate reality that elections can be stolen outright by mail ballot fraud,” he said.
“Election fraud, particularly an organized mail ballot fraud scheme orchestrated by political operatives, is an affront to democracy and results in voter disenfranchisement and corruption at the highest level.”
The Texas AG said there is an inherent danger in voting by mail.
“Mail ballots are vulnerable to diversion, coercion, and influence by organized vote harvesting schemes. This case demonstrates my commitment to ensuring Texas has the most secure elections in the country, and I thank the Gregg County Sheriff and District Attorney for their continued partnership. Those who try to manipulate the outcome of elections in Texas must be held accountable,” he said.
On Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany explained to the media that jumping into mass mail-in voting is a mistake.
“To move the entire country to mass mail-in voting, all at once, and have an entirely new system, and do that in just a few short months is an untenable and an unworkable proposition, and one that has shown to not work well at all, especially when you look at the disenfranchisement, which I think is really troubling when it comes to mass mail-in voting,” she said, according to a White House media pool report.
McEnany said too many problems have emerged to be ignored.
“There were 100,000 ballots rejected in California. In New York City, one in five mail-in ballots were rejected. And as a former DOJ voting rights official said, ‘It’s nuts. That is just way too high,’ when one in five voters, because of mass mail-in voting, have their ballots thrown out,” she said.
“The president has always made the distinction that absentee ballots — where you go through a process, where you request a ballot and you mail that in — that is a system that works,” McEnany said.
“But a system where you mass-mail out to voter rolls, which are not kept and maintained — where, in Los Angeles County, for instance, you have 120 percent of the county enrolled — that system is untenable. It doesn’t work. It leads to what we saw in Nevada, where there were ballots languishing in trash cans and pinned to apartment boards.”
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