A massive investigation is underway in Tarrant County as law enforcement officers from the Texas Attorney General’s Office investigate a vote-harvesting scheme alleged to involve as many as 20,000 ballots.
Last month, Texas Scorecard reported that Tarrant County Elections administrator Frank Phillips disclosed the AG’s office had launched a criminal investigation into voting abnormalities inside Tarrant County.
The investigation was the result of a complaint filed by Aaron Harris, of Direct Action Texas, an organization that also uncovered significant errors in Hill County’s primary election results.
Today, Harris confirmed that AG investigators have been spotted on the ground in Tarrant County interviewing witnesses. In a statement released online, Harris claimed the investigation is into a vote harvesting scheme involving as many as 20,000 ballots.
We have heard rumors for years of manipulation of the elections system in Tarrant County and thought it was time for someone to look into the facts. Direct Action Texas spent countless hours analyzing open records requests, noticing patterns and discovering Fort Worth voters whose voice was stolen. This vote harvesting operation preys on the elderly and the economically disadvantaged, who are among our most vulnerable neighbors.
Our research has shined a light on a covert, yet pervasive network – to the tune of 20,000 ballots, over four years, primarily within the African-American and Hispanic communities. All indications are this is the largest investigation related to voter fraud the Attorney General’s office has ever seen. This research has uncovered major flaws in the election code and its enforcement. We were happy to assist the AG’s office in their investigation, which led to today’s developments. Given the magnitude of this issue, we must reform the election code to restore the integrity of the process.
During an exchange with the Tarrant County Elections Committee, Phillips suggested the AG investigation was related to suspicious activity surrounding mail-in ballots. At the time, the magnitude of the investigation was unknown.
But sources in Tarrant County have told Texas Scorecard they believe individuals who allegedly abused the mail-in ballot process may have affected the results of multiple races over several election cycles.
Harris’ original complaint alleged that numerous crimes had been committed, potentially affecting thousands of votes in Tarrant County in an attempt to illegally sway Tarrant County elections. The Secretary of State referred to the documentation and audio evidence submitted by Harris as “voluminous.”
The alleged crimes include improperly serving as a witness for multiple voters, forgery and tampering with a governmental record, unlawful possession of a carrier envelope, and improper assistance.
Since the AG began their investigation into this matter, it’s possible additional evidence has been collected to suggest that more crimes have been committed by an even larger number of suspects beyond what Harris uncovered. But specific details surrounding the AG’s investigation have not yet been made public.
This investigation should serve as a rallying point for those who seek to reform and better secure our elections. Anyone involved in manipulating Texas elections must be held accountable and punished to the full extent of the law. But Texans must also take a serious look at whether we should continue to allow voting via unsecured mail-in ballots at all.
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.