Voter Registration Irregularities in Harris County

The following is a press release from the Office of Leo Vasquez, Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar for Harris County, Texas regarding the recent findings of possible voter fraud in Harris County:

Harris County Voter Registrar Leo Vasquez revealed findings of possible voter registration problems perpetrated by organizations targeting the Houston area.

“The integrity of the Voter Roll of Harris County, Texas, appears to be under an organized and systematic attack by the group operating under the name ‘Houston Votes,’” explained Vasquez. “Houston Votes is the voter registration machine of the ‘Texans Together Education Fund.’ Houston Votes and Texans Together have effectively emerged as our area’s new ‘ACORN’ organization.”

Vasquez presented samples of voter applications being submitted by the Houston Votes/Texans Together organization showing a pattern of falsification of government documents, suborning of perjury and a deliberate effort to over-burden the Harris County voter registration processing system with thousands of duplicate and incomplete voter registration applications.

The Harris County Tax Office will be referring problems, along with associated documentation, to the Texas Secretary of State and the Harris County District Attorney’s office for further investigation. Examples of patterns of action, along with associated documentation, through August 16th, include:

A. 1,597 multiple applications for the same voters. This means at least two or three applications being received for the same person. For some applicants we have received 6 applications for that one individual. This category also includes evidence of fraud in the form of differing addresses or variations on dates of birth in an apparent attempt to issue multiple or separate voter registration cards to the same individual. These multiple applications also frequently have unmatched signatures.

B. 1,014 applications for already-registered voters; These applications have no change whatsoever from their existing records and some have apparently inconsistent signatures not matching signatures already on file.

C. 1,133 applications where, under a warning regarding perjury, the applicant asserted he or she does not have a Texas drivers license, Texas ID card or a social security number. However, our office’s research has found a TDL record for the vast majority of these applicants. We are unable to directly look up socials. Contact with a random sample of these applicants has consistently generated reports that the volunteer deputy stated it was “okay” to claim they did not have these standard forms of ID.

D. 1,030 incomplete applications were submitted where the form was so insufficiently filled out that it will generate an automatic incomplete notice or does not even have an address where we can mail an incomplete notice, let alone a voter registration card.

E. 325 applications for teenagers too young to register; and,

F. 25 applications were even submitted for applicants who checked they were not U.S. Citizens.

“This amounts to over 5,000 deficient voter registration applications which have inundated our office,” Vasquez continued. “Each of these 5,000 have been counted in only one problem category, although they often fit in multiple categories” Additionally, 3,531 notices were received back from the Secretary of State’s office indicating Houston Votes applications which failed verification of TDL or SSN matching the State’s records.

In an effort to remedy the problems, the Harris County Tax Office’s voter registration team held two meetings with the leadership of the non-partisan Houston Votes & Texans Together organization. Mr. Fred Lewis, the founder and President of the Texans Together Education Fund and lead-organizer of Houston Votes along with one of his senior team members, Mr. Neil Hudelson, met on July 23, 2010, and August 6, 2010, to discuss problems with the Houston Votes work product, but the problems persisted.

However, the voter registrar notes that even Neil Hudelson and Mr. Sean Caddle, the Houston Votes Project Director, both have turned in at least 180 of the deficient applications.

“Clearly, this problem permeates the Houston Votes organization from top to bottom,” stated Vasquez.

The Harris County Tax Office advises that if you are already registered to vote and you have not changed your address, there is no need to re-register. However, if you have recently been convinced to fill out a new voter registration application and feel like there may have been a question as to your registration status, please go online to www.hcvoter.net or call our customer service number (713) 368-2200. If you have not filled out a recent application, odds are that you do not have to worry about your status. That said, it is always a good idea to go online to check your voter registration at least once a year just like you should check your personal credit report. And remember, if someone approaches you on the street asking you to fill out a voter registration application, be sure to ask to see their volunteer deputy number and be sure they give you a receipt.

Vasquez concluded, “In summary, this should be of utmost concern to all citizens of Harris County and the State of Texas. This is not a Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Tea Party, Green or Independent issue. It is a good government issue.”

 

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