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Hey look! Voter fraud!

I’m sure Mary Denny is all aquiver over this announcement by State Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced his office’s first indictments for alleged voter fraud in Texas, returned in separate cases by grand juries in Hardeman and Bee counties.

“My office takes seriously the one-person, one-vote philosophy that has been the backbone of this country throughout its history,” said Attorney General Abbott. “When the activities of even one person would undermine the electoral process, we will hold that person accountable.”

One of Denny’s fans left a comment in this post saying how it’s a shame Denny’s anti-voter HB1706 (slipped in as an amendment to SB89 at the last minute) didn’t become law. So what actually happened here?

Hardeman County Precinct 1 Commissioner Johnny Akers, 58, was indicted late Thursday on six counts of election fraud in Quanah. The Texas Election Code violations involve alleged unlawful methods for returning completed ballots during early voting by mail. During the April 2004 primary runoff and November 2004 general elections, the indictment alleges, Akers personally handled or mailed ballots for six persons unrelated to him over several days, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a jail term of up to six months and a fine of up to $2,000 on each count.

On May 27, Beeville resident Melva Kay Ponce, 53, was indicted in Bee County on a charge of illegal voting. She allegedly posed as her deceased mother during early mail-in voting in the November 2004 election. Illegal voting is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Ponce mailed an application for a mail ballot to the Bee County Clerk’s office for her mother, Dominga Ponce, on Oct. 15, 2004, when her mother was still alive. Her mother died of natural causes on Oct. 20, and two days later the clerk’s office mailed a ballot addressed to Dominga Ponce. Despite her mother’s death, Melva Kay Ponce filled out the absentee ballot in her mother’s name. She then mailed the completed ballot back to the clerk.

The Bee County Voter Registrar, Andrea Gibbud, contacted the Bee County Sheriff’s Office about the suspicious ballot, knowing Ponce’s mother had died before the ballot could have been completed and returned.

Emphasis mine. If anyone would care to explain to me how more stringent ID requirements at polling locations would have helped to avert either of these incidents, I’m all ears. Who knows, maybe next time Melva Ponce will include a photocopy of her dead mother’s driver’s license with any extra mail-in ballots she cares to submit.

Hat tip to Greg Moses, whose post on this served as a catalyst for me to mention it.

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  1. cacafuego says:

    “The Bee County Voter Registrar, Andrea Gibbud, contacted the Bee County Sheriff’s Office about the suspicious ballot, knowing Ponce’s mother had died before the ballot could have been completed and returned.”

    Man, I guess its true what they say about little towns and everybody knowing your business. Jeez

  2. ttyler5 says:

    What are you ranting about?

    The Denny bill is about ID requirements at polling places for next year, not last year’s mail-in ballots.

    It is a reponse to the phony Mexican Matricula Consular cards handed out by the by the Fox government, which have been used by illegals across the country to illegally obtain drivers licenses, bank accounts, social security benefits and voter registration.

    Is it that you are simply blissfully unaware of the problem, or is it that you are hoping the illegals will vote democratic?

  3. Zangwell Arrow says:

    Just as Denny’s Voter ID bill was part of a national GOP strategy, this Abbott case is an effort to tamp down turnout among minority (and presumabbly Democratic) voters.

    You’re right: any voter fraud that does exist is in ballot-by-mail programs, not in-person voting. So much for the logic behind Denny’s bill.

    As for Gregg Abbott, he was approached by the losing candidate in last year’s HD35 race, young Republican zealot Eric Opiela (who spent this past session working for Bob ‘Don’;t Let Gays Be Foster Parents’ Talton) with tales of massive voter fraud.

    Opiela threatened an election challenge in the Texas House but withdrew it when he was unable to meet even the low standardsof proof required by Tom Craddick and his cronies.

  4. […] in all of the cases Abbott has pushed is that they involved mail in ballots, which as I’ve observed would be unaffected by any legislation that required photo ID to vote in person. Abbott and his […]