Arrest: Woman Used Dead Person’s ID to Vote

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This afternoon the Attorney General’s office announced the arrest of a Starr County woman for illegally voting using a dead person’s identification.

Bernice Annette Garza was indicted by a grand jury in Hidalgo County and is charged with voter impersonation and illegal voting according to the Attorney General’s office. Garza obtained and submitted an application to vote by mail using the deceased woman’s identity.

Last week, it was widely reported that a San Antonio man was sentenced to three years for using a stolen identity to vote in Texas elections. The ID had been used to vote for 24 years.

For the past year, Attorney General Paxton has been pursuing at a steady clip voter fraud investigations and prosecutions. In 2018, 33 defendants were prosecuted for a total of 97 election fraud violations.

In cases were vote harvesting is at issue multiples of votes are at stake.

While not a typical case of ballot harvesting, the arrest of Garza falls under the broad umbrella of a harvested vote. Hidalgo and neighboring Cameron counties have seen multiple prosecutions of harvesting schemes over the last several years.

This morning at a press conference on property tax relief, Governor Greg Abbott dismissed media critiques of recent work by the Secretary of State to clean up voter rolls.

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