Wednesday, the Republican Party of Texas announced further confirmation of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes attempting to register deceased voters, with Democrat gubernatorial challenger Robert “Beto” O’Rourke now attempting the same scheme.
Last week, the Texas GOP announced they had received “numerous” reports of Planned Parenthood attempting to register deceased voters.
Now, they have found that Planned Parenthood is not only mailing voter registration applications to deceased individuals (the average date of death is over nine years ago), but they have also failed to include the political advertisement disclaimer required by the Texas Ethics Code.
Additionally, RPT received confirmation that “O’Rourke’s campaign has also been sending pre-filled registration applications to deceased individuals,” with the average date of death over thirteen years ago.
“Setting aside the fact these pre-filled applications were sent to deceased individuals, they also raise numerous privacy concerns, as they contain an individual’s name, address, and date of birth,” the party announced in a statement on Wednesday.
RPT Chairman Matt Rinaldi said, “These blatant attacks on our elections will not stand. We have trained an army of poll watchers and election workers that will blanket Texas for early voting and election day to ensure our elections are secure.”
Indeed, these voter fraud schemes raise serious concerns over election security. Under Texas Election Code section 276.013, registering dead voters is a misdemeanor offense. The penalty for this offense was lowered from a felony to a Class A misdemeanor last year as part of the Texas Legislature’s omnibus election integrity bill.
When Gov. Greg Abbott pressed lawmakers to address the problem, House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) defied the governor, saying he did not want to “relitigate” the issue.
Thus, protecting elections is a Texas GOP legislative priority for the 2023 session, including restoring felony penalties for those engaging in these fraudulent voter registration schemes.
“In January when the legislature reconvenes, we will raise the penalty for election fraud back to a felony and make sure violators like this are served justice,” said Rinaldi.
Election day is November 8. Early Voting begins October 24.