In a win for Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, it was announced that earlier this month, a Port Lavaca woman pleaded guilty to 26 felony counts of voter fraud, as Fox News reports, in a case that only serves to bolster the same kind of election integrity concerns about mail-in ballots raised by former President Donald Trump in recent years.
According to the outlet, 37-year-old Monica Mendez admitted to crimes that included “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.”
The grand jury indictment in the case alleged that Medez headed a vote-harvesting scheme designed to sway the outcome of a May, 2018 water board election in Bloomington, Texas.
Mendez reportedly served as a volunteer deputy during the aforementioned election cycle and was given responsibility for assisting residents who needed to register to vote.
However, it was ultimately noted that 275 Bloomington voters registered under the same post office box mailing address, one which was associated with a local nonprofit housing organization that was attempting to affect the results of the water board contest.
The vote harvesting scheme overseen by Mendez was orchestrated to benefit that subsidized housing enterprise, which hoped to unseat incumbent water board members and secure more desirable utility rates for the rental properties it owned.
A report from the Victoria Advocate further noted that District Judge Eli Garza handed down a sentence of five years of deferred adjudication probation for Mendez as well as 80 hours of required community service.
In addition, Mendez was deemed responsible for paying a total of $1,415 in fees and fines as a result of her plea.
In announcing the state’s win, Paxton’s office declared on social media, “Voter fraud is real, and it’s a real threat. That’s why I have a whole Unit devoted to stopping it. My office’s commitment to election integrity ensures Texas has the safest elections in the country.” Hopefully, other states across the nation will begin to take heed and follow that example.