Late Friday afternoon, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office issued the first warrant related to the ongoing investigation of potential voter fraud in a recent Dallas City Council race. Allegations of vote tampering dogged the contest between incumbent Monica Alonzo and Dallas County Schools board member Omar Narvaez.
Prosecutors charged Miguel Hernandez, 27, with illegal voting, a third-degree felony. Investigators in the case believe Hernandez is responsible for at least one of the tainted ballots turned into to the Dallas County Elections Department. The ballot was signed "Jose Rodriguez," the alias attached to more than 700 ballots sequestered by a Dallas County judge in the days after the May 6 election.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit (below), prosecutors got in touch Wednesday with one of the voters for whom one of the dubious ballots was cast. The woman, who is not named in the affidavit, told investigators that she placed a blank ballot in a white envelope and the official carrier envelop and gave it to someone she believed was going to mail it back to the Dallas County Elections Department. She did not sign the back of the envelope, as is required.
When the ballot showed up at elections headquarters, both the voter's signature and the "assisted by" line on the form had been filled out. The woman identified Hernandez from a lineup as the person to whom she'd given the ballot.
Andy Chatham, Dallas County assistant district attorney and the lead investigator in the case, declined to give much information about Hernandez, citing the ongoing investigation.
"We're continuing to pursue the investigation, and it will be ongoing through the June 10 runoff," Chatham said.
If convicted, Hernandez faces between two and 10 years in prison. A Tarrant County judge sentenced Rose Marie Ortega, a woman convicted of illegal voting in Fort Worth, to eight years in prison earlier this year.
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