A North Texas judicial election decided by just one vote is being challenged in court over allegations of voter fraud, illegal mail ballot harvesting, and official misconduct.
Kaufman County Court at Law No. 1 candidate Tracy Booker Gray filed a lawsuit this week to contest the results of her March 6 Republican primary. Incumbent Judge Dennis Jones was declared the winner of that race by a one-vote margin, 5,473 to 5,472.
Gray, a partner in the local law firm Guest and Gray, led in in-person early voting and election-day voting, but Jones received 404 mail-in ballot votes compared to Gray’s 260.
Gray hired investigators to review those mail-in ballots.
Based on their findings, Gray’s challenge alleges that at least 11 mail-in ballots from Terrell were illegally cast, and as many as 45 more “bear investigation through discovery for illegal and fraudulent voting.”
Gray contends that Brenda Prince, an election judge in the city of Terrell’s Precinct 26, was responsible for many of those illegal ballots. The suit states it’s “common knowledge” that Prince is involved in “ballot harvesting for hire in Kaufman County elections”– a charge Prince denies.
“Nobody paid me to go out and assist with voting,” Prince told inForney.com. “If somebody did pay me, then they need to show me the money.”
According to the suit, Prince illegally assisted or coerced multiple voters in Terrell, and requested and submitted ballots without voters’ knowledge or direction. In some instances, more than one mail ballot was submitted in the same voter’s name.
Local officials and members of the ballot board have “actively turned a blind-eye” to Prince’s illegal ballot harvesting activities since 2006, the suit alleges.
Gray’s investigators also found voters registered at addresses that were vacant lots, abandoned homes, or simply didn’t exist, as well as registered voters who didn’t exist.
In addition to fraudulent and illegally harvested mail ballots, Gray also alleges several irregularities and improper conduct by members of the Kaufman County Republican Party, the early voting ballot board, the recount committee, and county employees.
“Notably, the improbable number of ballots from the Terrell area, the obvious pattern of absentee ballot harvesting by Prince, combined with the other irregularities and Election Code violations, raise the specter of outright election fraud in this contest,” Gray’s petition states.
Jones is named in the lawsuit but isn’t accused of any wrongdoing.
Gray is asking the court to review the evidence and determine who really won, or to void the results and order a new election.