UPDATED October 15, 2021 to include current status of court case.

Authorities arrested a North Texas candidate on dozens of felony voter fraud charges after catching him red-handed with a box of mail-in ballots belonging to local voters.

Carrollton mayoral candidate Zul Mirza Mohamed was charged Wednesday with 109 felonies for fraudulently requesting and obtaining mail-in ballots he alleged were for nursing home residents.

According to a press release from Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree, his office was tipped off to the possible mail-ballot harvesting scheme on September 23, 2020, by the Denton County Elections Office.

Multiple mail ballots had been requested on behalf of Carrollton residents to be sent to a post office box in Lewisville, which purportedly belonged to a nursing home facility. Investigators contacted the voters and found they had not made the ballot requests.

Investigators also learned the post office box was obtained using a fake Texas driver’s license and fake student ID from the University of North Texas, and they began surveilling the post office.

On October 7, investigators saw the suspect pick up a box of requested mail-in ballots and take them back to his residence in Carrollton. Officers obtained a search warrant for Mohamed’s home and inside found the fake driver’s license and box of ballots—several of which had been opened.

Mohamed was arrested and transported to Denton County Jail. He is charged with 25 counts of unlawful possession of a ballot/ballot envelope (second-degree felonies punishable by 2-20 years in prison) and 84 counts of fraudulent use of a mail-ballot application (third-degree felonies punishable by 2-10 years in prison).

Officers from the Denton County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Attorney General’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, and Lewisville Police Department worked together on the voter fraud investigation.

“Voter fraud is a serious and widespread issue and cannot be tolerated,” said Murphree. “The fact that an actual candidate for public office would engage in these activities is appalling. We will continue to aggressively investigate allegations of voter fraud.”

A plea deal announcement scheduled for October 13, 2021, in the 462nd District Court in Denton County, was reset for December 15.

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.