A Texas voter fraud highlight reel?
Monday, Oct 13, 2008, 05:54PM CST
By Crystal Hubbard
Texas Watchdog recently unearthed thousands of dead voters still on the rolls in Harris County -- including some who had cast ballots posthumously in recent elections -- and Richard Daley doppelgangers seem to have been conducting similar business across the country (see here and here). But the Lone Star State is almost as notorious for voter fraud as the Windy City—even now, the “Duke of Duval” remains legendary for his role in LBJ’s victorious 1948 Senatorial bid.
Mounds of reporting have been done, largely in smaller communities, about suspicious mail-in ballots, politiqueras, and elderly pawns abused by political machines.
Consider this a Texas voter fraud highlight reel:
Ten people were indicted in connection with the 2005 McAllen mayoral race in what The (McAllen) Monitor referred to as “a landmark voter fraud case.” (As of April, seven of the indictments had been dropped and one person pled guilty.)
The San Antonio Express-News reported in June of last year that “a review by Bexar County officials found that 41 noncitizens may have voted illegally in San Antonio” between 2001 and 2007.
In 2007, a Mercedes citizen alleged that some of the vote-counters for the city’s municipal and school board races were steaming open mail-in ballots and changing votes. The same Monitor story also reported that two weeks prior to the steam-scandal, voters for the La Joya school board race were allowed to vote when they should have been given provisional ballots instead. (Normally, provisional ballots are held until a voter’s address can be verified.)
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported in 2007 that elderly voters may have received improper help in completing their ballots for that year’s District 5 City Council race; challengers in the race even filed suit against incumbent Frank Moss, alleging that “illegal votes” had been cast for him. Texas law requires an “Oath of Assistance” to be signed by anyone who aids a voter in filling out their ballot. According to the newspaper, there were no signatures on any of the votes cast by people who said they had been helped. Moss would go on to retain his seat.
And from Duval County itself, mail-in ballots for the county’s 2006 primary outnumbered neighboring Karnes County 10 times. Using figures they compiled, the San Antonio Express-News found that of the 5,641 votes cast in that year’s primary, 2,864 were mailed in. That 5,641 figure represented 57 percent of the county’s population at the time; statewide voting for that year’s primary was 8 percent.
Now, you may be saying that a few extra votes in small town America hardly impacts the course of things to come. But to men like Mister Johnson, they make all the difference.
(Photo: jim-lbj-group. Photo by flickr user jacdupree, used via the Creative Commons license.)