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Weekly Updates from Attorney General Ken Paxton: February 10, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017 – Austin



President Trump recently announced that he is considering an executive order which will tackle the problem of voter fraud. The ensuing speculation has ignited a flurried back-and-forth among the national media, as political pundits debate whether voter fraud represents a genuine threat to American democracy or whether it is instead a shadow moving across a wall.

Meanwhile, here in Texas, voters received a living reminder of just how easy it is for the enterprising few to manipulate the system and cast a ballot illegally. Earlier this week, my office, along with the Tarrant County District Attorney, secured a conviction against a non-citizen who lied on her registration form and therefore was able to vote in five separate elections in Dallas County between 2004 and 2014. The fraudulent voter was only caught because she attempted to register in Tarrant County, where she had admitted on an earlier voting application that she was a non-citizen.

Election officials in Tarrant County deserve a shout of praise. A less diligent office may not have caught the discrepancy within the woman’s registration forms. It just goes to show how difficult it can be to identify voter fraud when and where it occurs. Voter fraud is a pervasive but often subtle and hidden crime. Election officials have few tools with which to verify statements made during registration or on an absentee ballot. In addition, efforts to strengthen security at on-site polling locations have been undermined by litigation.

My office has fought diligently to preserve Texas’ Voter ID law for this very reason, and it will continue to do so. Voter fraud makes victims of every eligible citizen who wishes to have their voices heard. All public officials have an obligation to combat the forces which silence them.

Very Truly Yours,

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Ken Paxton