Tactical Roundup No. 3
Vote harvesting in Texas is an ongoing problem potentially prone to grow in 2020. How do harvesters know when to collect ballots?
This post is part of an ongoing series covering tactics used to steal elections examining cases from Texas and around the country.
In 2017, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office was reported to have secret audio recordings of a campaign worker claiming he paid off someone inside of the county elections office to figure out when mail-in ballots were sent out to voters.
Information about when ballots are delivered is crucial to voter harvesting operations.
In the recorded conversation, Jose Barrientos tells Sidney Williams, “your homeboy that’s at the elections office” tells you when ballots are being mailed out to certain ZIP codes. This information allows the harvesters to collect ballots either directly from mailboxes or voters.
Timeliness of this information is key. In an interview with WFAA, Barrientos stated, “whoever gets to that voter first when he gets his ballot in the mail, that’s who gets that vote. Nine times out of ten they’re going to vote for who the person in front of him tells him to.”
This, of course, assumes that the ballot is not simply taken from a mailbox and cast with a forged signature, cutting the voter out completely. Sadly, this happens and is a possible course of action alluded to during the surreptitiously recorded conversation between Barrientos and Williams.
Information about ballots that have been mailed is provided to harvesters illegally and comes at a cost.
We’ve previously covered another possible route for harvesters to know when ballots are to be collected, paying off postal workers as was the case in South Texas. In fact, this was an option that Williams and Barrientos discussed according to the recording.
Absentee ballots are only available under certain circumstances in Texas. The primary targets of mail-in ballot fraud are adults over 65 years of age. If you, a friend or a loved one are over 65 and received a ballot without requesting one, you are being targeted.
The specific allegations out of Dallas County were under investigation.