Tarrant lawmakers tapped to lead charge against mail-in voter fraud in Texas

Mail-in voter fraud has long been a concern of some in Texas.
Mail-in voter fraud has long been a concern of some in Texas. atinsley@star-telegram.com

Gov. Greg Abbott called on two Tarrant lawmakers to lead the way in cracking down on mail-in ballot fraud in Texas.

Abbott recently pointed to state Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, and state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, as leaders in this issue once the special session starts July 18.

“The right to vote is sacred in this country, and ensuring the integrity of the ballot box is one of the most fundamental functions of government,” Abbott said in a statement. “I prosecuted countless cases of mail-in ballot fraud as Attorney General, but the problem continues to exist today.

“I applaud Rep. Goldman and Sen. Hancock for their commitment to strengthen penalties for those who undermine the integrity of our elections.”

Curtailing mail-in voter fraud is one of 20 items Abbott announced will be on the agenda for this 30-day special session.

Abbott pointed to a current investigation of voting irregularities in Dallas. But an investigation into mail-in ballots is believed to be underway in Tarrant County as well.

Mail-in ballots let people vote from their homes without ID or verification of identity. At issue is how often people assist others, or physically help by witnessing, with filling out applications for mail-in ballots or the ballots themselves.

In Tarrant County, officials said last year that workers with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office were here gathering paperwork and interviewing potential witnesses. The attorney general’s office has declined to “confirm or deny investigations” or comment on the situation.

“Protecting the integrity of our elections is of the utmost importance,” Goldman said.

Hancock agreed.

“We must address this problem and that’s why I will file legislation during the special session to crack down on mail-in ballot fraud,” he said.

Another term for Bush?

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush — son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, nephew of former President George W. Bush and grandson of former President George H.W. Bush — is running for re-election.

The former Fort Worth man announced his re-election plans on his campaign website, saying he’s proud of all his team has accomplished.

“But our work is far from done,” he wrote. “In fact, we’re just getting started.”

Political observers have long said that the Spanish-speaking Bush, whose mother, Columba, is a Mexican immigrant, is an attractive candidate to both Anglo and Hispanic Republican voters.

Russian aggression

U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, has joined more than 20 Democrats in proposing a bill geared to require top officials to address concerns about Russia.

“The Russian Federation has pursued a deliberate campaign to undermine democracies around the world and weaken U.S. alliances and partnerships,” according to a summary of the Fostering Unity Against Russian Aggression Act of 2017. “The United States government has not developed a comprehensive response to this danger, including efforts to enhance military deterrence, respond to aggression, and punish Russian violations of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.”

The measure, known as the Fostering Unity Against Russian Aggression Act of 2017, would put in place a comprehensive plan and sanctions regarding Russia.

“I support this bill because it embraces a clear and all-inclusive approach to countering the serious threats that Russia poses to our nation’s democracy. It’s time that America takes a strong stance against their provocations,” Veasey said.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley