Election Fraud Cases
Tyron Davis, a former constable in Ellis County, Texas, was convicted of six counts of voter fraud for assisting nursing home residents with their mail-in ballots and voter registration applications without identifying his assistance on the ballot. He was also convicted of false identification as a peace officer for having pasted an image of his face onto the body of a peace officer for use on a flier advertising his assistance at the nursing home during his campaign, all before he became an officer. Davis resigned his officer's license to avoid jail time.
Prosecutors charged Graciela Sanchez with four misdemeanor counts of violating election law in an effort to assist Guadalupe Rivera win re-election to the post of Weslaco city commissioner in 2013. Rivera and Sanchez were found to have illegally "assisted" absentee ballot voters. The results of the election were disputed, and a judge determined that 30 ballots had been illegally cast in an election decided by only 16 votes. Sanchez pleaded guilty and received two years' probation.
Guadalupe Rivera, a former Weslaco city commissioner, pleaded guilty to one count of providing illegal "assistance" to a voter by filling out an absentee ballot "in a way other than the way the voter directed or without direction from the voter." The fraud took place during Rivera's 2013 re-election bid, which he won by a scant 16 votes. His challenger sued alleging fraud, and a judge determined that 30 ballots had been illegally cast, enough to alter the outcome of the election. A new election was subsequently held, and Rivera lost. Rivera originally faced 16 election-related charges, 15 of which were dropped as part of his plea deal. He was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine.
Gilda Hernandez pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful assistance, two counts of illegal possession of a ballot, and two counts of failure to provide identifying information while assisting a voter. Hernandez was sentenced to one year of deferred adjudication and a $250 fine.
Andrea Campos Bierstedt, a former member of the Freer City Council, was given pre-trial diversion after she was charged with illegally possessing a ballot belonging to another voter and "assisting" in filling it out. She was also ordered to pay a $3,500 donation to the county.
Zaida Cantu Bueno, a politiquera in South Texas, pleaded guilty to absentee ballot fraud. Bueno was involved in vote-harvesting schemes in which she would illegally "assist" voters in filling out absentee ballots. Bueno received a 180-day suspended jail sentence and one year of probation, and was ordered to complete 40 hours of community service and pay a $200 fine.
Christina Lichtenberger pleaded guilty to illegally possessing an absentee ballot belonging to another voter and illegally "assisting" in filling it out. Lichtenberger received one year of deferred adjudication, and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and court costs.
Cynthia Lopez, of Live Oak County, pleaded guilty to one count of absentee ballot fraud after she unlawfully possessed other voters' absentee ballots in the 2008 primary election. She was sentenced to a 180-day suspended sentence, one year of probation, and was ordered to complete 40 hours of community service and pay a $200 fine.
Norma Lopez, of Live Oak County, Texas, pleaded guilty to absentee ballot fraud after she unlawfully collected other voters' absentee ballots during the 2008 primary election. She was sentenced to a 180-day suspended jail sentence, one year of probation, and was ordered to complete 40 hours of community service and pay a $200 fine.
Raul Pena Jr., Starr County Commissioner, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges that he illegally returned a marked ballot and that he mailed a ballot belonging to another vote. The charges stem from an incident in which Pena delivered 56 ballots to a local post office. Postal officials found it suspicious that Pena possessed so many ballots, yet none were signed by Pena as the law requires of those who assist voters. He was sentenced to six months of community supervision, received a 180 day suspended jail sentence, and was ordered to pay a $500 fine.
Alicia Pena Perez, a former Freer municipal judge, pleaded guilty to four counts of unlawful assistance and four counts of possession of a ballot. During the 2008 primary election, Perez took possession of ballots that did not belong to her and illegally prepared them. She received one year of probation and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine plus court costs.
Oralia Frausto was sentenced for his role in a scheme that involved registering fake voters to vacant lots during the 2006 Democratic Primary. The goal was to submit a large number of mail-in ballots. He received a pre-trial diversion.
Maria Gonzalez was sentenced for her role in a scheme that involved registering fake voters to vacant lots during the 2006 Democratic Primary. The goal was to submit a large number of mail-in ballots. She received pre-trial diversion.
Guadalupe Rios pleaded guilty to eleven counts of illegally possessing a ballot without the voter's consent. She was sentenced to 60 days' house arrest, four years of probation, and was ordered to pay a $500 fine.
Elva Gutierrez Lazo, a former Duval County precinct secretary, pleaded guilty to one count of illegally possessing another's ballot during the 2006 primary election. Lazo and others helped voters to register to receive absentee ballots by falsely claiming they were disabled. She later returned to collect and mail the absentee votes. Lazo received one year of deferred adjudication and one year of community supervision, and was ordered to pay a $300 fine.