Ellis County GOP Blog

Welcome to the official blog of the Ellis County GOP. I hope this to be a location to quickly get out important information regarding the Ellis County GOP. 972-938-9383 or the Chairman's cell at 214-394-4961.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Voter Fraud Must Stop

By Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas

The Iraqi people have reminded the world that democratic elections are still possible, even in a country that until very recently was pinned under the thumb of total, murderous rule.
America has helped make those elections happen, and we should be proud. But while we work to ensure that the polls in other countries are free of corruption, we shouldn't forget about our own.
In Texas, an epidemic of voter fraud is infesting the electoral process, and it's time we rooted it out.
Of course, voter fraud is no newcomer to the Lone Star State. Six decades ago, the votes "found" in Jim Wells County's infamous Ballot Box 13 helped squeak Lyndon B. Johnson into the U.S. Senate. Other instances of "election irregularities" -- although perhaps none quite so dramatic-- on both sides of the political aisle have plagued Texas since that 1948 primary.
And the fraud continues. Since last summer, the attorney general's office has been involved in several voter fraud cases across the state.
In January, the mother of a March 2004 primary candidate for Reeves County sheriff and another woman were indicted on charges of illegally possessing and transporting election ballots of several voters.
In Nueces County, four women are accused of targeting elderly voters during last year's local school board elections, going door to door soliciting votes and then taking ballots and carrier envelopes to the post office.
A Hardeman County commissioner pleaded guilty to illegally collecting mail-in ballots during the 2004 elections that put him in office.
And in Bee County, a Beeville resident pleaded guilty to mailing an absentee ballot in the name of her deceased mother during the November 2004 elections.
Local prosecutors are dealing with voter fraud, too. The week before Christmas, the Hidalgo County district attorney obtained indictments against nine people in connection with the McAllen city election in May.
At first glance, these might seem like isolated events in far-flung towns. Step back, though, and the picture looks just as sinister as it did 60 years ago. Texas has long been a haven for paid political operatives who target seniors and the disabled for mail-in ballot schemes. Many of the cases referred to my office by the Texas secretary of state fall into this category.
Some try to claim that these folks are simply helping seniors make their voices heard, but that's a smoke screen to hide the fact that this manipulation is simply another form of elder abuse.
The fact is, voter fraud allegations are surfacing in communities from the Rio Grande to the Red River, from the Pecos to the Piney Woods.
For too long, Texas has turned a blind eye to these crimes, thinking that everyone does it. Or that it is too hard to prosecute. Or that it's not really a serious crime, that it's always taken place, or some other excuse.
Voter fraud is occurring on a large scale when viewed statewide, and our state elections are being affected to a significant extent.
As the March primary elections approach, we must redouble our efforts to stem this epidemic. I have asked my office's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to work with police departments, sheriff's offices, and district and county attorneys to successfully identify, investigate and prosecute voter fraud offenses.
Officers from the SIU, working through a $1.5 million grant from the governor's office, will visit key counties across the state to conduct voter fraud training. Included among these counties are the 14 where my office has previously investigated or prosecuted allegations of election code violations. In addition to those mentioned above, the list includes Bowie, Comal, Floyd, Harris, Jim Wells, Parker, Robertson, Tarrant and Waller.
SIU officers also will visit the 34 Texas counties with populations of at least 100,000. Together, these 48 counties contain more than three-quarters of the state's eligible registered voters.
With more law enforcement officers and prosecutors on the alert, we hope that those who would commit fraud will think twice. If they do it anyway, let this be their notice that we will come after them.
We must do all we can to ensure the validity of our elections. Voter fraud strikes at the heart of our democratic process, and it must stop.


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