Another game of guess the political party.
Via Star Telegram:
Members of an organized voter fraud ring have been arrested and indicted on charges they targeted and, in one case stole, the votes of elderly voters on the city’s north side.
Four people were arrested — Leticia Sanchez, Leticia Sanchez Tepichin, Maria Solis and Laura Parra — after being indicted on 30 felony counts of voter fraud, according to a statement from the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
These people allegedly were paid to target older voters on the north side “in a scheme to generate a large number of mail ballots and then harvest those ballots for specific candidates in 2016,” the statement read.
“Ballots by mail are intended to make it easier for Texas seniors to vote,” Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “My office is committed to ensuring that paid vote harvesters who fraudulently generate mail ballots, stealing votes from seniors, are held accountable for their despicable actions and for the damage they inflict on the electoral process.”
Vote harvesting typically happens in two stages. There’s seeding and then harvesting.
The AG’s office explains that applications for mail-in ballots are first sent to “targeted precincts.” Then, “harvesters attempt either to intercept the ballots outright or to ‘assist’ elderly voters in voting their ballots while ensuring that the votes are cast for the candidates of the harvesters’ choice.”
In many cases, AG officials say, “the voters do not even know their votes have been stolen.”
Investigators began looking into a Fort Worth voter fraud ring and found that so-called fraudulent applications were created by forging signatures, changing information on the applications and then resubmitting them without the knowledge of voters.
The AG’s statement also said the harvesters “used deception to obtain signatures from voters.”
Fraud and mail-in ballots
Less than a month before the presidential election in November 2016, allegations of voter fraud in Tarrant County began surfacing and were being investigated by the state.
The complaints focused on mail-in ballots, which allowed people to vote from their homes without any ID or verification of identity.
A key concern has been how often people may assist others — or physically help by witnessing — with filling out the applications for mail-in ballots or the ballots themselves.
Supporters have long said mail-in balloting is crucial for overseas residents, the military and senior citizens. Critics maintained that such voting is ripe for abuse and raises concerns about “vote harvesting,” in which people could fill out and return other people’s ballots.
Officials said workers from Paxton’s office were in Tarrant County gathering paperwork and interviewing potential witnesses.