Voter Fraud Is Real, and We Must Stamp It Out

Voter fraud is real, and it undermines the integrity of the election process in Texas. The right to vote is sacred in this country. Ensuring the integrity of the ballot box is one of the most fundamental functions of government. We must do more to ensure that there is no illegal voting in Texas. Just last week, a Dallas County grand jury issued an indictment in an ongoing voter fraud investigation after 700 suspicious mail-in ballots were sequestered from the May city elections. One man has been arrested and charged with second-degree felony illegal voting. He is accused of visiting a woman in April to collect her blank absentee ballot, then filling it out and forging her signature before mailing it back to the county. The Dallas County District Attorney's Office is reportedly investigating hundreds of similarly forged ballots. In the weeks prior to that election, dozens of senior citizens in West Dallas and Grand Prairie filed complaints about receiving mail-in ballots they had not requested. To encourage participation by all eligible registered voters, voting by mail in Texas is available to those 65 and older, disabled Texans, voters who will be out of their home county on Election Day and during the early-voting period, and those confined to jail who are otherwise eligible. But mail-in ballots are susceptible to fraud — beyond simple mailbox theft. Elderly Texans and those most in need of assistance can be coerced by others who offer to "assist" in filling out the applications for mail-in ballots or the ballots themselves. To take advantage of vulnerable Texans like this is disgusting. When I was attorney general, I prosecuted countless cases of voter fraud across the state, but the problem continues to exist today. Voters have reportedly received mail-in ballots though they had not been requested. Dead people are applying for mail-in ballots. And voters showing up at the polls on Election Day are being told that an absentee ballot has already been cast by someone in their name. Run-off elections are particularly at risk to this form of compromise. Low voter turnout means fraudulent mail-in ballots could be more of an outsized factor in the race's outcome. But every vote in every race counts. We must do more to ensure there is no illegal voting at the ballot box. During the special session this summer, I am directing the Legislature to strengthen penalties for those who undermine the integrity of our elections, and I applaud Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, and Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, for their commitment to this critical issue. I look forward to working with them and members of both chambers to ensure that mail-in ballot fraud legislation reaches my desk. On my watch and beyond, Texas will continue to ensure the integrity of elections in the Lone Star State. Greg Abbott is the governor of Texas. He wrote this for The Dallas Morning News. Website:  Continue reading...

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