Due to the magnitude of the fraud Direct Action Texas has uncovered over the last 2 years, we have been calling for sensible reforms to come out of Austin. One of these is a bill authored by Representative Mike Schofield (R-Katy). House Bill 2139 would allow prosecutors to treat organized election fraud activity the same way it would treat other forms of organized crime, raising each penalty level one degree. Testimonies given in the House Committee on Elections revealed overwhelming bipartisan support.
In 2014, a Texas judge blocked former State Rep. Lon Burnam from viewing suspicious applications and ballot envelopes he claimed led to his re-election defeat. Burnam alleged that hundreds of applications for ballot-by-mail were submitted with fraudulent electronic signatures.
The use of electronic signatures is a preferred tool of illegal vote-harvesters. It allows them to capture hundreds of signatures on iPads under the guise of a fake “petition drive,” unrelated to any candidate election. Then they digitally insert those signatures onto ballot by mail applications year after year, which are then faxed into the local county elections office.
Imagine you are a candidate for office. The votes are in and you are just 50 votes short of victory. Your race was fiercely competitive and you suspect fraud in the results. You requested a recount already, it came out with the same results. If there is fraud, it must be in the mail-in ballots. What do you do?
Contesting an election is costly and time consuming so a candidate needs all the information possible to determine if he or she should proceed. One of the first things a candidate will want to see are the mail in ballots and applications. (For reasoning behind this: The Fort Worth Way) This sounds like a reasonable request, right? Not so fast. There are a few pieces of the Election Code blocking the way.
If you’ve been paying any amount of attention you know that folks in Hill County are anything but competent at running their elections. To date, no one can actually tell us what the results of the election were, and each time someone attempts to calculate the figure, more questions are raised than are answered.
I’ve learned a lot through this experience.
For starters, I’ve learned that no one is watching. No one is double-checking election results. No one is holding election administrators accountable. No one is ensuring election integrity. No one is watching county chairs.