Tactical Roundup No. 2

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Candidates and political parties that want to rig elections by stealing votes will go to elaborate lengths to accomplish the task. Here, we’ll explore an instance that proves any individual with access to voter information represents a potential vulnerability in the execution of an election.

This post is part of an ongoing series covering tactics used to steal elections examining cases from Texas and around the country.

In 2017 a U.S. Postal Service employee was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for his part in a ballot harvesting scheme.

Noe Abdon Olvera, 44, a Mission U.S. Postal Service employee was charged with selling lists of individuals who received mail-in ballots to vote harvesters. Price negotiations for the lists between Olvera and a harvester were caught on camera.

According to evidence presented at his trial, $1,200 in bribes was paid by campaign workers on two separate occasions for the voter information.

Olvera, to make the most of his ill-gotten intel, approached both campaigns to solicit offers. He was caught on camera negotiating for a higher price from the campaign that would not pay his inflated price of $3000. The losing bidder turned Olvera in to law enforcement.

These negotiations were caught on video over multiple occasions in November 2014. Olvera was not the only postal worker charged at the time, a co-worker was also accused of selling lists of voters along with addresses to political campaigns.

Court records show that Olvera pled guilty to one charge of bribery and in exchange for his plea the government dismissed the remaining counts (3) he was facing. This conviction was made possible and expedited by the aid of video that was captured by a rival campaign.

There are a couple of items of note in this situation. First, individuals with access to election records including election office employees and postal workers are privy to important and valuable information that can be turned into cash money. Second, surreptitious recordings are very helpful in securing convictions where vote harvesting is concerned.

The types of harvesting involved here are prevalent in the Rio Grande Valley and perpetrated in other parts of Texas as well.

Any individual involved in the administration of an election is potentially susceptible to the allure of money and possibly power where vote harvesting is possible.

Stay vigilant my friends.

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