A Dallas woman who says she has been a victim of mail-in ballot fraud for several past elections spoke out Monday about what she says happened to her on Friday.
Bridgett Moore lives in the Dallas Housing Authority's Cliff Manor high-rise on Fort Worth Avenue, a 12-story building with 185 apartments for elderly or disabled people.
Moore said she has lived in the building for five years and every election, a man whose name she does not know, tells her he has ordered a mail-in ballot for her, then comes around later to collect it.
"Every year, I'm voting for someone else. He's like, 'These are the ones that are going to help the city and stuff like that,'" Moore said.
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She said the man came Friday to collect this year's mail-in ballot for the May 4 city of Dallas election.
"He said, 'Miss Bridgett, you got your ballot yet?' And I said, 'No, I ain't had a chance to go to the mailbox,'" Moore said. "So he's like, 'Where's your key? I'll go get it for you.' I mean he was very helpful."
She thought the man was doing her a favor until he insisted that she change her vote in this year's election for Dallas mayor.
Moore said she planned to vote for Albert Black, who was chairman of the Dallas Housing Authority Board until he stepped down to run for mayor.
"I knew exactly who I wanted to vote for because I got my whole church voting for him," Moore said. "He whited it out and he told me to sign it after he whited it out. And I'm like, 'But I know Albert Black. I know him personally. And I want to vote for him.' He was like, 'no.'"
The woman let the man take the ballot, but decided to file a complaint with the Dallas County District Attorney Monday after people campaigning for Black came around later Friday. She told them what happened.
"This was a quintessential case of voter fraud," said Dallas attorney Anthony Farmer, who is an Albert Black supporter. "This same gentleman has come around and done the same thing over and over again. So people talk about making a difference, making some changes with these voter fraud incidents, but something really needs to happen."
Hundreds of suspicious mail-in ballots were set aside for special attention in the 2017 Dallas election after several voters said ballot tampering had occurred. Several people were named as persons of interest. Since then, just one man was charged with a crime. Miguel Hernandez, 29, was convicted of a misdemeanor for one ballot he collected. He was sentenced to 180 days in the county jail.
NBC 5 showed Moore photos of all the men mentioned in the 2017 accusations and she said the man who collected her ballot was not one of them.
Nine candidates are in the 2019 race for Dallas mayor, with no clear front-runner. The top two candidates in Saturday's election will move on to a June runoff. The margin of victory for the two that make the runoff could be just a handful of votes, so mail-in ballots could play a big role.
The man who collected Moore's ballot was able to walk into the building Friday and knock on her door, so attorney Jasmine Crockett, another Albert Black supporter, wonders how many other ballots the man has harvested.
"I can assure you he most likely is going to other buildings and taking advantage of people who are in vulnerable situations and getting votes for specific candidates," Crockett said.
Dallas County Election Supervisor Toni Pippins-Poole said the new accusations are disappointing. She said her office makes great effort to educate voters and helpers about the proper way to handle mail-in ballots. She said voters who need help should only give their ballots to trusted friends or family members.
"If you're not marking that ballot in the manner that voter wants you to mark it, then that's criminal," Pippins-Poole said.
A spokesperson for the Dallas County District Attorney's office had no comment on the new accusations but confirmed that the 2017 investigation is closed and no further action is pending.