Early voting in Texas started on Monday, October 18. And almost immediately, allegations of fraud and misconduct at the polls followed. I’m told that the Harris County Attorney’s Office is looking into several specific instances of poll worker misconduct in Texas House District 148, where Republican Fernando Herrera is challenging Democratic incumbent Jessica Farrar.
Allegations surfaced last week of SEIU union members loitering within 100′ of a polling place wearing their union member shirts (there is video of several SEIU purple shirts loitering around a voting center at the link). That occurred at Ripley House, a community center serving as a polling place. Now, there is an additional allegation that poll workers within the polling place itself have told at least one voter that he must vote Democrat at that location. If true, that’s clearly against the law. This is from an email that contains several allegations that have been forwarded to the Harris County Attorney’s Office. The author of the email, Deborah Flores, describes a conversation that she had with two attorneys from the Harris County Attorney:
“Can you tell me about the incidences that happened here at Ripley House?”
I told them I’ve been here since the polls opened everyday. My father was already here before I got here and was talking to a gentleman in Spanish. My dad told me he came in to vote for Herrera and they told him it was straight Democrat here, so he had no other choice to vote but straight Democrat here. My dad told him that’s not true. The attorneys wanted to know more about what the man said and I told them that they would have to talk to my father because I don’t speak Spanish and he was speaking Spanish to my father. The attorneys said is there anyway he can come here. We would like to talk to him and I said let me call him I think he’s off today, I was going to bring him tomorrow because he’s off tomorrow. They said can we call him and I said I don’t have my phone. They told me here’s my card have him call me.
Also on Monday, a poll worker allegedly stamped a man’s voter card incorrectly:
Then I told the attorneys, second of all, you see where they all are standing (the people pushing cards)?, a gentleman who had come out of the polls called me over to his truck and wanted to know if I could answer a question he needs to ask me (he specifically called me over because I was the only Republican there) , he said he had his registration card and they stamped it D with a rubber stamp. He wanted to know “why they did that, for what purpose, I’m not a Democrat?” The attorneys told me “Really, they do that during the Primaries.” I told the attorneys, well this isn’t the primaries, this just happened Monday and this is what the man said, they just did it that day and that is why he called me over.
And from the second day of early voting, an allegation that poll workers are manipulating the pace of voting to maximize the number of Democrats who get to vote, while minimizing the Republican voters’ time to vote:
Day 2, I get here, I get set up here where all those people are where we have our little space, I’m fixing to get my push cards, 3 voters came out and said they were turned away, that all the polls were down. They were told they could come back later. I said, “Oh really.” Then Sylvia Garcia’s team asked her partner to put on a T-shirt and go in to find out what is going on. I then said if you are not going, let me borrow a T-shirt so I can go in and find out what is going on. And I acted like I was a voter off the street, I told the guys I walked up to the Information Desk inside Ripley House and asked are the polls down. They both looked at each other and asked are the polls down? I said that’s okay, “I’ll go find out for myself. I see this line out the door of the voting polls. I am sitting out here and was told the polls were down and there are 2 gentlemen outside the door waiting to go in.” I said they just told me the polls were down, and he said “No ma’am they are working. They are working slow but they are working.” I told the people who were handing out brochures that the polls are working. I also asked everyone out there, “Where did all those people come from who were standing in line waiting to vote, they didn’t come through these doors?” So I walked all the way around the building and I see a charter bus. There was a lady with 2 gentlemen. The lady was wearing a Jessica Farrar T-shirt, standing beyond the 100 foot boundary limits. So I sat myself down and I sat there. After I turned my back to them with my Herrera T-shirt, one of the guys got in the bus and moved it. The lady still stood there, I began to tell her “Ma’am, you need to pick up your stuff and move within the boundaries.” She said “Oh, I’m so sorry.” She sits behind me and she tells me that she was Jessica Farrar’s mother. I said “Hi, I’m Debbie Flores, I’m Fernando Herrera’s cousin” and I left. I just started passing out brochures and stuff. (I have photographs of this).
I turned to the attorneys and said: “Now, you think about it, that is a Democrat bus probably chartered by Ms. Farrar — they let all the Democrats vote and they turned away 3 Republicans who came in and were told all the polls were down because they wanted that Democratic vote.”
Are Democrats busing voters to the polls, while obstructing Republican voters, in Harris County?
That’s just a sample of what has apparently gone on during the first week of early voting in that one precinct, with the caveat that the author is related to one of the candidates in the race at hand. There are also signs of overt hostility on the part of the Democrats at Ripley House.
Flores says that she put these Herrera signs up Sunday, only to have a Democrat come over while she was around the corner planting additional signs, and knock these signs down.
I spoke with Deborah Flores today; she’s skeptical that the Harris County Attorney’s Office is taking the allegations of misconduct seriously. The county attorney, Vince Ryan, is a Democrat, a major donor to both the local and state Democratic parties, and was elected to his office in the 2008 Obama wave. His office is reportedly looking into allegations of poll watcher intimidation from both sides.
I’ve also heard that voting machines in one jurisdiction outside Harris County were automatically casting votes for Democratic candidates down the ballot if a voter selected the straight Republican ticket option at the top of the ballot. And then there are the many other stories of voter registration fraud in Harris County uncovered by True the Vote and King Street Patriots (which have no affiliation with anyone mentioned above that I’m aware of), similar voter registration fraud by an SEIU offshoot in Arizona, major fraud in Florida, and DNA evidence being gathered to deal with a case of absentee voter fraud in Troy, New York.
The Harris County incidents and others point to the need for our national Voter Fraud Watch initiative. The way it works is very simple: Keep a camera with you, and if you see anything amiss like the SEIU workers in the video linked above or the photographs from Ripley House, please send them to us and describe what you saw. We’ll take a look and report it.