A Dallas County grand jury handed down its first indictment in the ongoing voter mail-in ballot fraud investigation triggered after election officials sequestered hundreds of absentee ballots in Democrat races over voter irregularities in the May 6 local election.
Prosecutors charged Miguel Hernandez, 27, with illegal voting, a second degree felony. The Dallas Morning News reported the grand jury heard the case against him on Friday afternoon and then released its indictment on Monday. If convicted, he may face up to 20 years in prison. However, the suspect remains at-large.
Reportedly, he disappeared before June 2, the date when the Dallas County District Attorney’s office issued its first arrest warrant in the investigation for Hernandez. He stands accused of allegedly forging the signature of at least one voter after collecting the individual’s blank absentee ballot.
Breitbart Texas reported on the alleged voter harvesting scheme which purportedly targeted elderly residents in hotly contested city council races in two precincts. Amid revelations that officials sequestered 700 suspicious absentee ballots, which placed the results of these local elections in limbo temporarily, shocking audio emerged. It suggested the alleged corruption may have reached all the way into the Dallas County Elections Department and affected the cities of Dallas and Grand Prairie.
Dallas County officials opened a criminal investigation into the May 6 election after persistent voter fraud allegations surfaced over mail-in ballots in Democrat races, Breitbart Texas reported. Officials pushed pause on the results of the election to sort out the situation but on May 17, the city council reluctantly voted to accept the results of the election.
Subsequently, Attorney General Ken Paxton and his office joined the ongoing fraud investigation after Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson requested such assistance from the A.G.’s office, saying it would enable her to better expand her resources in probing the suspicious absentee ballots.
Following the announcement of the Hernandez indictment, Governor Greg Abbott tweeted: “First indictment issued in Dallas County Voter Fraud Case. I suspect we’ll see more to come.”
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 12, 2017
Last October, the state opened an investigation into voter fraud allegations in neighboring Tarrant County where reports of suspicious mail-in ballots and vote harvesting schemes erupted a month before the November 8, 2016, national election.
The Texas Legislature reconvenes for a special session that begins on July 18. Among the governor’s limited list of priority items he called for legislation “enhancing the detection, prosecution, and elimination of mail-in ballot fraud.”
State Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and Representative Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth) continue to co-author this bill.
UPDATE: Police have arrested Miguel Hernandez, the suspect in the Dallas County voter fraud investigation. His apprehension comes more than a month after the county district attorney issued the arrest warrant for his apprehension and only days after a grand jury indicted him on charges of illegal voting. Until now, Hernandez was believed to be on the run. Authorities booked him into the Dallas County Jail and set his bail at $100,000, reported WFAA, which noted the arrest warrant indicated that the woman whose signature Hernandez allegedly forged on an absentee ballot picked him out of a police lineup as the man who identified himself as “Jose Rodriguez,” the individual she said picked up her unsigned absentee ballot from her home in April. Previously, Breitbart Texas reported a “Jose Rodriguez” appeared to have requested “dozens” of mail-in ballots on behalf of unsuspecting elderly voters.
Follow Merrill Hope, a member of the original Breitbart Texas team, on Twitter.