Texas law enforcement officials have arrested four women for allegedly targeting elderly voters in the 2016 elections in a "voter fraud ring" that was funded by a Democratic Party leader, according to court documents filed this week by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
"The defendants were members of an organized voter fraud ring and were paid to target elderly voters in certain northern Fort Worth precincts in a scheme to generate large numbers of mail ballots, then harvest those ballots for specific candidates," NBC DFW reported.
A grand jury indicted Leticia Sanchez, 57, Leticia Sanchez Tepichin, 39, Maria Solis, 40, and Laura Parra, 24, on a cumulative 30 felony counts of voter fraud on Oct. 10 following an investigation by Paxton's office. Breitbart Texas reported:
The state’s newly filed notice of intent to introduce evidence in the Sanchez criminal case alleged that Stuart Clegg, then Tarrant County Democratic Party executive director, funded the alleged voter fraud ring’s criminal activities.
The Star-Telegram added that "after learning about a state investigation, Leticia Sanchez — one of four women arrested and indicted on voter fraud charges — allegedly directed her daughter to send a text message to others in the scheme, urging them not to cooperate with investigators, state officials say."
"The scheme was conducted when applications for mail ballot were proliferated in targeted precincts," NBC DFW added. "When ballots were mailed out by election offices, the fraudsters attempted either to intercept the ballots or to 'assist' elderly voters in voting their ballots to ensure votes were cast for the fraudsters’ choice. In most cases, the voters do not even know their votes have been stolen, the news release said."
The fraudulent applications used forged signatures and many of the voters that were targeted in the scheme "were forced to cancel their mail ballots so they could vote in person and some were forced to receive primary ballots for the political party supported by the harvesters, though it was not the party the voters supported."
In a statement, AG Paxton said:
Ballots by mail are intended to make it easier for Texas seniors to vote. The unfortunate downside is their extreme vulnerability to fraud. My office is committed to ensuring that paid vote harvesters who fraudulently generate mail ballots, stealing votes from seniors, are held accountable for their despicable actions and for the damage they inflict on the electoral process.