A criminal investigation into an alleged voter fraud scheme in East Texas is now underway, according to an organization responsible for exposing election scandals. It’s the third such case currently ongoing by state officials.
Direct Action Texas, the grassroots organization who filed the original complaint with the Secretary of State, claims to have found at least 42 election code violations related to mail-in ballots in Harrison County. Today, they released the following statement:
“[We have] been notified that investigators with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) have been spotted in Harrison County. This brings the total number of ongoing investigations due to DAT complaints of vote irregularities to three separate counties.”
DAT is the same organization responsible for uncovering election errors in the Hill County Republican primary in 2016. There, they found nearly 1,800 more votes cast than voters, according to election records. Those ballots were seized by the AG’s office as part of an ongoing investigation.
DAT’s efforts also resulted in the largest voter fraud investigation by the Attorney General in Texas State history. DAT says they uncovered a massive mail-in ballot harvesting scheme in Tarrant County that targeted predominately ethnic minorities and low-income citizens. They claim as many as 20,000 ballots were affected over several years. The scandal led to the resignation of Elections Administrator Frank Phillips, who was then abruptly hired by Denton County Elections.
“The fact that our work has resulted in three ongoing investigations makes me proud of our team and the quality of our work, ” said Aaron Harris. “We are not aware of any organization who has uncovered this much election fraud, much less in such a short period of time. To those committing these crimes – the gig is up.”
DAT says they were disgusted to see perpetrators take advantage of elderly citizens, as mail-in ballots are mostly available to voters over 65 years of age.
During a presentation in Fort Worth last year, Harris claimed the illegal harvesting operation resulted in the illegitimate victory of at least two officials – former Fort Worth Mayor Pro Tem Sal Espino, and State Rep. Ramon Romero Jr. (D–Fort Worth). DAT has implicated Espino in the alleged fraud, claiming dozens of fraudulent election forms were faxed to Tarrant County Elections from Espino’s private office. Espino announced last year he would not seek a seventh term in May 2017, citing “personal” reasons.
The Attorney General’s Office has so far declined to comment on any of the ongoing investigations, as is its policy. DAT says they are “currently investigating vote harvesting in Dallas County,” which they say involves both current and former elected officials.
You can see Aaron Harris’ full presentation in October, 2016 regarding Tarrant County’s alleged voter fraud case on the Empower Texans Facebook page.