Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today applauded the Seventh Court of Appeals in Amarillo, Texas for allowing the State to prosecute Erika Lozano-Pelayo for multiple counts of election fraud that resulted in two indictments. Lozano-Pelayo was indicted for providing false information on applications for mail ballots and for causing intentionally misleading information to be provided in those applications.
“Those who violate our election laws don’t just steal a vote from another citizen, they destroy their community’s confidence in the democratic process. Mail ballots are intended to protect the voting rights of Texans who are unable to travel to polling locations, but criminals exploit this process to alter votes through manipulation and deception,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Fraudsters who threaten the viability of our democratic elections must be caught and prosecuted, and I thank the Seventh Court of Appeals for remanding this case to trial so the State may do just that.”
The trial court previously quashed part of Lozano-Pelayo’s indictments, blocking the State from alleging and proving that she committed multiple fraudulent acts during a single election. The court also lowered two election-fraud charges from felonies to misdemeanors, although Lozano-Pelayo had not presented the court with adequate grounds for reducing the charges against her.
In its opinion, the Seventh Court of Appeals ruled that the trial court erred in quashing the allegations that Lozano-Pelayo committed multiple acts of election fraud and in lowering two charges to misdemeanors. It reversed the trial court’s order and remanded the cases for trial. Under Texas election laws, the State has a duty to prosecute each election violation, including repeated violations by the same offender.