By Raymond Wolfe
Local officials in Texas, New Jersey, and Mississippi have been indicted on nearly 200 total election fraud charges, state attorney generals have announced in recent days.
A Medina County, Texas, justice of the peace, Tomas Ramirez, was arrested on Feb. 11, after a grand jury indicted him earlier that week. Ramirez faces charges of organized election fraud and over a dozen counts of illegal possession of a ballot or ballot envelope.
Leonor Rivas Garza, Eva Ann Martinez, and Mary Balderrama were arrested along with Ramirez. Their charges include illegal voting, election fraud, acting as an agent, and tampering with government records.
The attorney general’s office noted that the indictments center around allegations of illegal vote harvesting at Texas nursing homes, which impacted 2018 county races. Ramirez was elected as a justice of the peace that year, although he has since been suspended from his post.
Less than a week after Texas announced the Medina election fraud arrests, the New Jersey attorney general’s office revealed that councilmen from the city of Paterson were indicted for alleged interference in a special election last May.
The councilmen, Alex Mendez and Michael Jackson, won their primary races in May, although they and two other campaign workers were charged with fraud within weeks of the election. New Jersey voting was overwhelmingly conducted by mail-in ballot in 2020.
Mendez and Jackson both were indicted by a state grand jury in late February on election fraud, record tampering, fraud in casting mail-in votes, unauthorized possession of ballots, and falsifying records. Mendez was indicted on charges of false voter registration as well.
The attorney general began probing irregularities in Paterson after U.S. Postal Service inspectors reported finding hundreds of mail-in ballots stuffed in mailboxes. The county elections board rejected over 800 Paterson ballots, and a New Jersey judge later invalidated the results of the race.
Late last week, a judge also voided a municipal election in Mississippi. In his decision, Judge Jeff Weill, who was appointed to the case by the state supreme court, said that 78% of absentee ballots cast in a June run-off election in Aberdeen, Mississippi, were invalid. 83 regular ballots were counted despite lacking signatures of election workers, he added.
Judge Weill issued a bench warrant for a notary, Dallas Jones, who signed off on problematic ballots and admitted to violating election protocol. Jones has since been arrested. She had testified that she corrected ballot paperwork of a local official’s father at the official’s house in June and authorized “about 30 something ballots” while there.
Election fraud in Aberdeen implicated the town’s police chief and a former mayor, as well as one of the candidates for the municipal council, all of whom broke voter intimidation and harassment laws, Judge Weill said.
Weill has called for a new election, which is set to be scheduled on Tuesday.
Recent election fraud indictments in Mississippi, Texas, and New Jersey follow numerous similar incidents across the U.S., flying in the face of Democrats’ insistence that mail-in voting, which is banned in other industrialized countries, is free of serious fraud risks.
H.R. 1, or the “For the People Act,” which passed in the House last week without a single Republican vote, would force states to take up universal mail-in voting and end voter ID requirements, among other things. The attorney generals of Texas, Mississippi, and eighteen other states have denounced the bill as an unconstitutional attempt that “usurps states’ authority.”