Voting Problems In Texas

Yesterday The Star-Telegram in Fort Worth reported the following:

A Fort Worth woman recently indicted on voter fraud charges paid others involved in the scheme with funds provided by a former Tarrant County Democratic Party leader, court documents filed this week say.

After learning about a state investigation, Leticia Sanchez — one of four women arrested and indicted on voter fraud charges — allegedly directed her daughter to send a text message to others in the scheme, urging them not to cooperate with investigators, state officials say.

The allegations are made in the state’s notice of intent to introduce evidence in Sanchez’s criminal case, where state officials say she was among those who collaborated to vote for certain down-ballot candidates with a number of north side residents’ mail-in ballots.

The notice, filed Tuesday, states that Sanchez engaged in organized criminal activity in collaboration with her three co-defendants; Stuart Clegg, a former executive director for the Tarrant County Democratic Party; and others.

The article reports that the voter fraud included illegally obtained mail-in ballots Forged signatures were also used on absentee ballots and mail in ballots.

The article continues:

Earlier this month, four women were arrested — Sanchez, her daughter, Leticia Sanchez Tepichin, and Rosa Solis and Laura Parra — after being indicted on more than two dozen felony counts of voter fraud.

Officials allege the women were paid to target older voters on the city’s north side “in a scheme to generate a large number of mail ballots and then harvest those ballots for specific candidates in 2016.”

The notice did not specify which candidates the suspects were allegedly paid to support, but it noted that Sanchez and others marked down-ballot candidates “without the voter’s knowledge or consent.”

AG officials have said these charges “are in connection with the 2016 Democratic primary, but the case has connections with the 2015 city council election.”

AG spokesman Jeff Hillery declined to comment when asked if any other charges would be filed.

This development comes as early voting for the Nov. 6 midterm election is underway. Voters may vote early through Nov. 2. Election Day is Nov. 6.

The article suggests that the arrest and indictment of Ms. Sanchez may be a political move because it occurred right before the election, but it seems to me that the time to find and deal with voter fraud issues is before the election. People need to know that there are consequences for committing voter fraud.

A report from The Star-Telegram today warns voters to check the voting machines carefully before recording their votes.

The article reports:

Texas voters: Take your time when casting ballots.

This advice comes as state election officials receive complaints across the state from early voters casting straight tickets on Hart eSlate machines who believe the machines changed their votes.

Two complaints, reported through a third party, have been made in Tarrant County, said Heider Garcia, elections administrator.

“We have … tested everything,” he said. “We don’t have any indication that there’s a technical issue.”

The Texas Secretary of State’s Office has issued a statement about the issue.

The article cites one example:

Evelyn Brown, a 63-year-old longtime Fort Worth voter, said she had a problem voting this week.

She had gone to the Southwest Community Center on Welch Avenue and had cast a straight party ticket.

When she reviewed the summary, she saw that her choice in the U.S. Senate race — which pits Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz against Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke — had flipped to the candidate in the other party.

She spent seven or eight minutes trying to move back to change the candidate in that race, but wasn’t successful.

“I’m accustomed to using the booth,” she said. “I used the keys that let you move forward and back. It didn’t move at all. It was stuck.”

So she called the election judge over who ended up calling the Tarrant County Elections Office.

In the end, the election judge had to at least temporarily put that machine out of service. He moved Brown to a different machine, where she said she was able to cast a vote for all the candidates of her choice.

Vote carefully, Your country depends on it.

When You Vote, Make Sure The Machine Gets It Right

There are numerous stories floating around the Internet today about voting machines changing the votes of the people voting. Breitbart posted a story today about a Texas county that has switched to paper ballots until they get their voting machines re calibrated.

The article reports:

Chambers County Clerk Heather Hawthorne told Breitbart Texas Tuesday morning that all electronic voting was temporarily halted until her office completes a “software update” on ES&S machines that otherwise “omit one race” when a straight ticket option is selected for either major party. The Texas 14th Court of Appeals race was reported to be the contest in which voters commonly experienced the glitch.

Hawthorne explained that she expects the technical difficulties to be completely addressed by end of business Tuesday. In the interim, regular paper ballots will be used. The county clerk told Breitbart Texas that before the machines were pulled, poll workers were instructed to alert voters to the glitch and double-check their selections.

There have been reports of similar incidents in other states also. Hopefully, the problems will be corrected, and votes will be counted accurately.