The Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton (R-Texas), has announced that his office has charged four Democratic elections officials with 134 felony charges of voter fraud stemming from the 2018 Democratic primaries, as reported by Fox News.
The four suspects, who were arrested on Thursday, are Gregg County Commissioner Shannon Brown, Brown’s wife Marlena Jackson, Charlie Burns, and DeWayne Ward. Paxton’s office says that among the charges are election fraud, tampering with governmental records, and mail-in ballot fraud, among others.
The statement from Paxton’s office says that the individuals in question created fake ballots to boost Brown’s razor-thin race by targeting “young, able-bodied voters to cast ballots by mail by fraudulently claiming the voters were ‘disabled,’ in most cases without the voters’ knowledge or consent.”
Jackson faces the most charges, with 97; 30 of those charges are for election fraud, as she is said to have marked numerous applications herself for voters to receive mail-in ballots even though they were not disabled. Brown faces 23 counts, while Burns faces eight counts, and Ward is facing six counts. The possible sentences in the case are as low as six months, and as high as 99 years.
The fraud was allegedly enough to tip the primary race in Brown’s favor, as he supposedly beat his challenger by just five votes, with a margin of 1,047 to 1,042. Of all votes cast, 787 were done by mail.
The charges are the latest step in Paxton’s efforts to combat voter fraud in Texas. Paxton had previously sued Harris County, accusing County Clerk Chris Hollins of preparing to send over two million vote-by-mail applications to voters who had not requested any, and in any case did not even qualify for vote-by-mail.