Two prominent north Texas Democrats are sounding the alarm on the threat of a politically-uncommon concern: voter fraud.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings (D) and State Representative Eric Johnson (D-HD 100) submitted a letter Thursday to Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole after public concerns continued to mount about scores of reports involving a potential absentee voter fraud scheme.
“According to reports, dozens of voters received mail-in ballots they never requested,” the letter states, which “suggests the possibility of a coordinated effort to benefit a candidate or candidates in the upcoming Dallas City Council elections.”
As Breitbart Texas previously reported, the episode began when West Dallas-area pastor James Armstrong alerted local media and officials alike that some of his congregants came forward with evidence that absentee ballots were arriving at their respective homes without first asking for them, as Texas law requires.
“It’s just a travesty that we are dealing with this,” Armstrong told NBC DFW at the time. “Seniors who have lived in this neighborhood all of their life and are now being taken advantage of.”
Another community resident, Alice Washington, 81, lodged similar complaints with the County via her niece, Barbara Roberson.
“I said, ‘Would you please send me a copy of that application because I’d like to see her signature’,” Roberson told WFAA at the time. “Someone forged her signature,” said Roberson after review of the paperwork.
In the week following, dozens of similar complaints have been made, according to Mayor Rawlings’ joint letter. The duo also notes a possible pattern in recent elections:
What’s more startling is that this is the second time in less than a year that we have heard reports of irregularities in West Dallas. In November, media reports indicated someone fraudulently mailed ballots for dozens of elderly or dead voters.
Previous Breitbart Texas coverage noted where election integrity experts explained root causes for the latest episode and steps Texas can take to fix the matter going forward:
Election integrity advocates have argued that absentee ballot problems can sometimes be rooted in poor maintenance of the underlying voter records. The Public Interest Legal Foundation noted in response to the Dallas episode that Texas should consider tightening procedures for requesting absentee ballots. “As long as you have a name and address of another voter, you’re good to go … You don’t even need to give a birth date,” a group spokesperson told Lifezette. Analysts say that requiring absentee ballot applications to include driver’s license or other government-issued identification numbers could cut down impersonation attempts like claimed by the Washington family.
Recent fraud conspiracies prosecuted in southern Texas point to a possible example for how elderly voters are preyed upon through the mail voting system. After an unsolicited ballot arrives, an illicit get-out-the-vote political operative would visit the recipient’s home, offering “assistance” with completing and returning the form with pre-selected candidates in mind. One recent Texas case involved a U.S. Postal Service delivery man taking bribes in trade for allowing “politiqueras” to follow his truck, indicating which homes received ballots. The mailman also allegedly took part in campaigning for local Democrat candidates while in uniform as well.
Short of legislative reforms, Mayor Rawlings and Rep. Johnson were left to implore Pippins-Poole to “devote additional resources to verify the integrity of each mail-in ballot in Dallas.”