A Texas woman who plead guilty to 26 felony counts of voter fraud has been successfully prosecuted according to information posted on the website of Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton. A video came out about one year ago stressing how many people were getting accused of voter fraud in Texas, but that it often lead to little or no consequences.
When it comes to this case, the consequences appeared heavy according to Ken Paxton’s website. That information reads as follows:
“Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced his office’s latest election integrity prosecution in Victoria County. Monica Mendez of Port Lavaca pleaded guilty to 26 felony counts of voter fraud, including three counts of illegal voting, eight counts of election fraud, seven counts of assisting a voter to submit a ballot by mail, and eight counts of unlawful possession of a mail ballot. Mendez ran a vote-harvesting operation on behalf of a subsidized housing corporation in order to influence the outcome of a utility board election.
After Mendez entered a guilty plea on all 26 counts and confirmed in court that all counts could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, District Judge Eli Garza sentenced Mendez to five years’ deferred adjudication probation.
The case was investigated and prosecuted by Attorney General Paxton’s Election Integrity team in cooperation with the Victoria County District Attorney’s Office.” (source)
What exactly happened?
A Port Lavaca woman named Monica Renee Mendez, 37, has pleaded guilty to 26 counts of voter fraud in the 24th Judicial District Court. She was sentenced to five years of deferred adjudication probation, 80 hours of community service, and fees and fines adding up to $1,415 as dished out by District Judge Eli Garza.
This all comes from an incident back in 2018 in the Bloomington water board election and there was eight voters’ ballots involved, according to reports.
Mendez allegedly worked as a volunteer deputy registrar during that election. She was likely responsible for helping people register to vote. Something happened that sparked interest in the attorney general investigating her conduct and then her registrar certification was no longer renewed.
It was Victoria County Elections Administrator Margetta Hill who stated the following in 2021: “Once we get wind of something that’s not right, we have the right to revoke her certificate… We didn’t renew it.
What really got the attention of investigators was the scrutiny that happened in 2018 after nearly 275 people in a tiny town of 2,500 registered to vote using the same address that turned out to be a post office box that was linked to rental properties connected to ALMS, which is a local housing nonprofit who was actually accused of unfairly trying to win votes at that time.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office made a statement, accusing Mendez of running a scheme. They said: “Mendez ran a vote-harvesting operation on behalf of a subsidized housing corporation in order to influence the outcome of a utility board election.”
Mendez eventually pleaded guilty to at least three counts of “illegal voting, eight counts of election fraud, seven counts of assisting a voter to submit a ballot by mail and eight counts of unlawful possession of a mail ballot” and was prosecuted by Paxton’s election integrity team who worked closely with the Victoria County District Attorney’s Office.
Victoria Advocate added the following information about the laws revolving around this situation: “Illegal voting, which includes impersonating another voter or knowingly marking another person’s ballot without their consent, is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, according to the Texas Election Code. Attempted illegal voting is a state jail felony punishable by 180 days to two years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.
Unlawful voter assistance, which includes aiding voters ineligible to receive assistance, filling out a voter’s ballot in a way other than the way the voter directs, suggesting how the voter should vote while helping fill out their ballot or providing help to a voter who has not requested assistance, is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine.“
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