By Molly Prince
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Thursday that several individuals were arrested in the Lone Star state for allegedly orchestrating an illegal voting scheme in the city of Edinburg in the Rio Grande Valley.
The attorney general’s Election Fraud Unit arrested nine people following an ongoing probe into “a coordinated effort by political workers to recruit people who agree to fraudulently claim residential addresses so they could vote in specific city of Edinburg municipal races,” according to a statement from Paxton’s office.
“Illegal voting, particularly an organized illegal voting scheme orchestrated by political operatives, is an affront to democracy and results in corruption at the highest level,” said Paxton. “Each illegal vote silences the voice of a law-abiding registered voter.”
Paxton identified the nine individuals as Guadalupe Sanchez Garza, Araceli Gutierrez, Brenda Rodriguez, Rosendo Rodriguez, Cynthia Tamez, Ruby Tamez, Belinda Rodriguez, Felisha Yolanda Rodriguez and Jerry Gonzalez, Jr. He also asserted that more arrests are expected in the future and urged anyone with further information to come forward.
“My office will continue to do everything in its power to uncover illegal voting schemes and bring to justice those who try to manipulate the outcome of elections in Texas,” he continued.
Paxton noted that 33 individuals in 2018 have been prosecuted for election fraud violations. In Texas, voting in an election illegally is a second-degree felony that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, according to another press release from Paxton’s office.
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