Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Another election year and another South Texas voter fraud allegation.

Its a shame that we have come to a point where this seems almost to be expected.


Fraud alleged in Jim Wells primary
John MacCormack: Express-News

As surely as winter rains bring Texas wildflowers in the spring, elections in Jim Wells County sprout complaints of election hanky-panky.

Sixty years after a future president earned the sarcastic nickname "Landslide Lyndon" by edging Coke Stevenson for a U.S. Senate seat with ballots stuffed into the infamous Box 13, the smell of dirty tricks again is in the air.

"Some people in Jim Wells will get indicted," predicted District Attorney Joe Frank Garza, who lost his bid for a fifth term in the 79th District by about 350 votes to Alice lawyer Armando Barrera.

"I'm not going to contest the election. The people spoke. But I have received a lot of complaints about fraud, more than usual," said Garza, who said he sent a letter to Attorney General Greg Abbott voicing his concerns.

"They were very interested, and they requested we put this stuff together and prepare reports," said Garza, adding that he expects to see state investigators in Alice this week.
And he was not alone in his concerns, as county election administrator Pearlie Valadez also called Abbott's office after the March 4 primary.

"My concern was the mail-in ballots," she said.

"There is an investigation. They are looking into things, but there is nothing more I can say," said Valadez, who said she was asked by the attorney general's office not to discuss the probe.

A spokesman for Abbott confirmed Monday that a formal complaint had been received from Garza but declined to comment on reports that state investigators will be arriving in Alice soon.
Garza, who assigned one of his investigators to look into the election complaints, said most of the problems were linked to mail-in ballots.

"There were like 2,300 (mail-in) ballots sent out, but only 1,500 were returned. A lot of people came in to vote and were told they had already voted by mail. So someone else was voting for them," he said. (Boy, I would be pissed!)