Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Monday that his office will prosecute a Mexican national who, allegedly, voted in three elections to include the 2016 presidential.
Laura Janeth Garza, 38, is not a United States citizen and she stands accused of two counts of election fraud–voter impersonation and ineligible voting. On May 10, a Montgomery County grand jury indicted Garza for her purportedly illegal voting activities in Harris County. In addition to voting in the 2016 presidential election, the Mexican national also reportedly cast ballots in 2004 and 2012. The AG’s office released the indictment Monday.
“This case demonstrates my office’s commitment to protecting the integrity of elections,” said Paxton in a written statement. “We will continue to do everything in our power to safeguard the electoral process in Texas.”
A joint investigation conducted by the Texas AG’s office and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) determined that Garza obtained documents to steal the identity of a U.S. citizen and illegally register to vote in Harris County, according to a press release from Paxton.
The two state agencies continue to work together on the case. Information about this matter surfaced when a female American citizen attempted to obtain a U.S. passport. However, she learned that Garza had already done so using this woman’s identity. As a result, the U.S. State Department referred Garza’s case to the Criminal Investigations Division of DPS, which, subsequently, handed it over to the Office of the Attorney General for an election fraud investigation.
Authorities arrested Garza on May 11. Montgomery County Jail records show she remains behind bars on $150,000 bond. The two counts of voter fraud are considered second degree felonies. Each charge carries a $75,000 bond. If convicted, Garza faces up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
J. Christian Adams, president and general counsel for the Public Legal Interest Foundation (PILF), commended Paxton on the announcement that his office will prosecute Garza for alleged voter impersonation and ineligible voting in Harris County.
“This case demonstrates clearly why we must have improved transparency from Harris County on questions related to ineligible voting,” said Adams in a prepared statement. “A Mexican national stands accused of impersonating a U.S. citizen and voting three times – largely thanks to a broken honor system which local officials do not feel compelled to answer for.” He continued, “Citizens deserve protections against illegal activities like alleged and transparency is the first step towards ensuring them.”
Currently, the foundation is engaged in federal and state lawsuits to obtain records belong to former registrants who were officially discovered or self-reported their ineligible noncitizen status on Harris County voter rolls. Recently, Paxton urged a state court judge to facilitate the PILF’s request after Harris County sued over a relatively unfavorable ruling that noncitizen records should be disclosed under Texas law. Last week, the watchdog law firm responded to the county’s claims suggesting that it had no right to date related to noncitizen voter registrants and that the federal case should be stayed pending a state court judgment in Austin, among other matters.
Similarly, the PILF put Bexar County on federal notice earlier this year for failing to disclose noncitizen registered voter records, as was reported by Breitbart Texas.
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