A Dallas County Democrat claims that mail ballot voter fraud and other election irregularities cost her a win, and she’s contesting the results of her Democratic primary election.

Elizabeth Frizell, a candidate for Dallas County District Attorney in the March 6 Democratic primary, filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the outcome.

Frizell’s complaint alleges that “ineligible, illegal and fraudulent mail in ballots were included in the vote total.”

Frizell lost by just 589 votes to her Democrat opponent John Creuzot.

She contends that “ballots were illegally harvested by campaign workers” of Creuzot, and that “mail-in ballots were counted that did not have a known chain of custody.”

Frizell is asking the court to declare the Democratic primary race void, as the alleged fraud and other errors cited in the complaint make it “impossible to ascertain the true result.” That would trigger a special “do-over” election.

Creuzot, Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole, the county’s Democratic Party Chair Carol Donovan, and Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson are all named as contestees in the complaint.

The contest comes a week after Frizell, faced with a March 19 deadline, chose not to request a recount. But she didn’t rule out other action. “I have a responsibility to the voters to ensure the process that I campaigned for them to participate in, many for the first time ever, was fair and impartial,” she said in a statement.

Mail ballot voter fraud and illegal vote harvesting are ongoing problems in Dallas County. County officials added hundreds of questionable 2018 primary ballots to their ongoing investigation of mail ballot voter fraud in the May 2017 municipal elections. To date, that investigation has yielded one arrest.

Yet Democrats in the Texas Legislature opposed reforms signed by Gov. Greg Abbott last year to crack down on mail ballot voter fraud that targeted vote harvesters like those being prosecuted in Dallas and elsewhere.

The Texas Democratic Party even proposed giving every voter “the option to vote by mail” as one of its March 2018 primary ballot propositions, despite bipartisan agreement that mail ballots are the voting method most susceptible to voter intimidation and fraud.

At a hearing on election security last month, prosecutors with the Texas Attorney General’s office called mail ballots “the wild West of voter fraud” and testified that organized mail ballot fraud is “by far the biggest problem that we see across the state” when it comes to election integrity.

“We can prove that there’s fraud in many different counties around the state, and that there’s fraud on a large scale,” said Jonathan White, an assistant attorney general who’s been prosecuting voter fraud for 10 years.

Omar Escobar – a Democrat district attorney for Starr, Duval, and Jim Hogg counties in South Texas – testified that giving every voter the option to vote by mail would not be a good idea. “Any time you have ballots that are outside the polling location, you’re going to have fraud,” Escobar testified. “I would never recommend everyone voting by mail – it invites fraud.”

Escobar launched a voter fraud investigation in Starr County earlier this year that has already resulted in seven arrests. Investigations and prosecutions of illegal mail ballot harvesting are ongoing in Nueces and Tarrant counties as well.

In the past, Democrats have dismissed accusations of widespread illegal mail ballot harvesting and denied that voter fraud affects election outcomes. As Dallas County’s Democratic voters and candidates continue to be victims of voter fraud, that denial becomes increasingly hard to reconcile with reality

Depending on the outcome of the contest, either Creuzot or Frizell will face Republican incumbent District Attorney Faith Johnson in the November general election.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.