Another instance of alleged voter fraud has popped up in Texas as Chris Nettles, candidate for Fort Worth City Council, is filing a civil lawsuit contesting the results of this year’s May 4 election.

Nettles lost to the incumbent in District 8, Kelly Anne Gray, by 505 votes—a margin of 53 percent to 40 percent. Kevin Johnson, the third candidate in the race, received just 7 percent of the vote.

Of the over 3,000 votes cast in this election, 548 were absentee votes (also called mail-in ballot votes). Gray received 394 mail ballot votes compared to Nettles’ 114, and Johnson got 32.

Nettles says mail ballots are where the fraud can be found; he pointed out differences between signatures on the applications for the ballots and the envelopes in which the mail-in ballots were returned to the elections office.

“I believe there’s over 250 of them that were cast fraudulently,” Nettles stated. “Ninety-three would get us to a number that would force a runoff.”

Signature differences are a potential sign of voter fraud, suggesting that the person who voted is not the actual registered voter. Nettles is asking a judge to throw out mail-in ballot votes, leaving only those cast during early voting and on Election Day. He also intends to file a criminal complaint but has yet to identify who it will target.

Gray has denied involvement in any of the allegations. “We don’t commit fraud. I run a race that is classy, that is dignified and full of integrity. I stay in my lane.”

When two of the individuals whose signatures Nettles questioned—Dorothy Allen, 94, and Randy Bauer, 71—were asked about their signatures, both said the signatures were, in fact, their own.

Most voter fraud victims are seniors like Allen and Bauer or disabled, as they are eligible to vote by mail, according to Christine Welborn, director of election integrity with Direct Action Texas; the political advocacy organization has investigated and helped expose voter fraud in Fort Worth and throughout Texas.

“Direct Action Texas has previously filed complaints with the Secretary of State regarding abnormalities in that part of Fort Worth, as well as others,” Welborn told Texas Scorecard when asked about Nettles’ case. “We have reason to believe mail-in ballot fraud has occurred there in previous elections. It is possible that Chris Nettles’ allegations are true.”

Nettles planned to file his civil lawsuit this week, then contact each of the mail-ballot voters whose signatures are questionable.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.