Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced late Wednesday afternoon that he and his office will assist Dallas County in the ongoing investigation into potential mail-in ballot fraud during May's Dallas City Council election. Paxton, like Dallas District Attorney Faith Johnson, a Republican, has prioritized fighting voter fraud.
“Nothing is more sacred to our democracy than the integrity of our voting process,” Paxton said at a press conference. “Recently, there have been too many questions raised about elections in Dallas County. I am honored today that District Attorney Johnson has invited my office to assist in their investigation, and we will do everything within our resources and abilities to solidify trust in every election here and around the state.”
It isn't the first time the attorney general has helped with a North Texas voting integrity case. Paxton was recently involved in the case of Rosa Maria Ortega, the Tarrant County woman sentenced to eight years in prison for voting as a permanent resident rather than a U.S. citizen.
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This case, revolving around Dallas City Council District 6, is far murkier. A man using the name Jose Rodriguez has been accused of rounding up several hundred mail-in ballots before the May 6 election. Election returns indicate that neither of the two leading candidates, Omar Narvaez and Monica Alonzo, gained a significant advantage from the ballots.
One man, Miguel Hernandez, is charged with illegal voting, a second-degree felony, in the Dallas investigation, but he has yet to be arrested. Johnson declined all questions about the investigation Wednesday but told reporters that she hoped to have an update on the case soon. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott identified mail-in ballot fraud as a priority for the upcoming special session of the Texas Legislature, which begins July 18.
Johnson said she has faith that Paxton will help "every voter believe in the system."
"I am so excited that he is willing to come and assist us as we continue to do the work we are doing here in Dallas County as it relates to what we consider corruption in this area of voter fraud," Johnson said. "I am confident that he and his investigative and prosecutorial units are committed to assisting us, committed to helping us deal with this issue. And get to the bottom of what’s happening here in Dallas County as they have done so in other areas in Texas."