Less than a month before the November 8 election, the largest voter fraud investigation in Texas history is underway in Tarrant County.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the allegations that prompted this investigation focused mainly on mail-in ballots. Mail-in ballots allow voters who are unable to leave their homes, in jail or out of the country to send in their ballot without any ID or verification of identity.
Concerns have arisen over the use of the mail-in ballot system because it’s easy to abuse, especially when it comes to “vote harvesting” – the process of illegally filling out and returning other voters ballots without their consent.
Some say the investigation is a politically motivated, while others argue that it is finally shedding light on an issue that has existed for years.
“Workers with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office have been in the reliably red Tarrant County gathering paperwork and interviewing potential witnesses,” reports the Star-Telegram.
Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley tells the Star-Telegram why he sees a problem with the mail-in ballot system. “That’s the whole problem with mail-in ballots. Someone requests a ballot and we don’t know if they got the ballot, filled it out and returned it. The voter fraud they are referring to can only be corrected by doing away with mail-in ballots.”
Ramon Romero, Democratic Texas House Representative for District 90, told the Star-Telegram that he believes the fraud allegations are completely false.
“If there’s an investigation, so be it. Let them investigate,” says Romero. “I’m going to continue to do what I’ve always done, encourage people to vote early, in person or by mail. If this has an ill effect on people’s right to vote by mail… it’s unfortunate.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott voiced his support for the investigation by tweeting a link to an Empower Texans article on the investigation along with the statement, “Largest Voter Fraud Investigation in Texas History Underway in Tarrant County. We will crush illegal voting”
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 7, 2016
The Tarrant County Republican party, while waiting for the results of the investigation, are taking things into their own hands. According to the Star-Telegram, the TCGOP recently sent out an email urging local Republicans to serve as both election judges and alternate judges.
“History has repeatedly shown that Democrats will do everything they can to buy, steal and cheat their way to victory at the ballot box,” states the email. “It is up to us to ensure that every vote here in Tarrant County is PROTECTED and LEGAL.”