During a public meeting this week, Tarrant County’s Election Administrator revealed the Attorney General is investigating “voting abnormalities” in county elections.
During the meeting with Tarrant County’s Elections Committee, Election Administrator Frank Phillips disclosed the investigation was the result of a complaint filed by Aaron Harris of Direct Action Texas.
Harris identified the errors in Hill County that have led to an ongoing criminal investigation there.
Phillips admitted that his office, which is charged with election oversight, had noticed abnormalities related to mail-in ballots but decided not to take action, since no formal complaint had been filed.
Phillips also admitted they were aware of at least one individual who has assisted an untold number of voters in completing ballot by mail applications. The very same process that he previously admitted is the most likely place for voter fraud to occur.
But since the law allows for a single individual to assist an unlimited number of voters, Phillips says he didn’t report any suspicious activity to a higher authority. Shockingly, Phillips asserts that even reporting suspicious activity is not his responsibility unless the violations were “overt and obvious.”
When questioned by members of the committee, including Republican County Chairman Tim O’Hare, Phillips stated, “Anything that would [appear] nefarious [to his office] would be the job of the Attorney General’s office [to investigate].”
Phillips’ shocking admission raises the question: How is the Attorney General supposed to know to investigate if the agency charged with overseeing an election fails report suspicious activity? What other suspicious activity has Phillips’ failed to report?
Do other elections administrators also neglect to report suspicious activity?
Phillips’ defense? He claims his office is “not the police.” And so even in cases where individuals may have violated state law, his election office processes the potentially fraudulent or invalid forms anyway.
“The [election] code states what those persons can and can’t do,” said Phillips. “What the code doesn’t make us is the police. The code says, if somebody [violates the law] we accept that [application], and we process it. With the number of applications we get each year, there’s no way to look at each one and see if that name has been attributed before.”
It is the responsibility of the committee to ensure the county elections office performs the duties charged to them under the state’s election code.
The election committee’s members include Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, County Clerk Mary Louis Garcia, Tax Assessor Ron Wright, Democrat Party County Chairman Deborah Peoples, and Republic Party County Chairman Tim O’Hare.
If this is the process followed by Tarrant County, then how many other Texas counties open their mail-in ballot process up for abuse? And if it is that easy to commit voter fraud, maybe Texas needs to look at doing away with the mail-in ballot process altogether.
UPDATED October 17th, 2016: You can see the full presentation by Aaron Harris regarding Tarrant County’s alleged voter fraud case on the Empower Texans Facebook page.