Republicans continue to talk about voter fraud. The reality is that it makes no sense. Why would an undocumented person put themselves at more risk of getting caught by voting? It never made sense. Ironically, many cases of "voter fraud" prosecuted in Texas seem to involve Republicans. This one is no exception.
The Star-Telegram reported the following.
A Grand Prairie mother of four who drew national attention after a Tarrant County jury sentenced her to eight years in prison for illegal voting has lost her appeal.
The 2nd Court of Appeals this month upheld the original conviction and sentence of Rosa Maria Ortega.
“This case underscores the importance that Texans place on the institution of voting, and the hallowed principle that every citizen’s vote must count,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a written statement. “We will hold those accountable who falsely claim eligibility and purposely subvert the election process in Texas.” ,,,
“Prosecutors showed the jury proof that Ortega illegally registered to vote in 2002 and voted in four elections in Dallas County,” a statement from Paxton’s office stated. “The prosecutors established that when Ortega moved from Dallas County to Tarrant County in 2014, and correctly indicated she was not a U.S. citizen on her voting registration form, the county informed her in writing that she was ineligible to vote.
“Nevertheless, Ortega applied to vote again, this time falsely insisting she was a U.S. citizen. She illegally voted five times between 2004 and 2014.”
That included the 2014 Republican primary runoff.
This is nothing more than a form of voter suppression. It places an unnecessary fear into the psyche of voters who just are not sure of their status. And what are those potential voters likely to do? Of course, most will simply stay home.
For those who believe voter fraud is really an issue, they should read the Brennan Center for Justice article "Debunking the voter fraud myth" which is very enlightening.
Sensationalist claims have circulated this election season about the extent of voter fraud, with some politicians going so far as to tell voters to fear that this November’s election will be “rigged.” Because electoral integrity is one of the elements necessary to making America the greatest democracy in the world, claims like this garner media attention, and frighten and concern voters. But putting rhetoric aside to look at the facts makes clear that fraud by voters at the polls is vanishingly rare, and does not happen on a scale even close to that necessary to “rig” an election. ...
The verdict is in from every corner that voter fraud is sufficiently rare that it simply could not and does not happen at the rate even approaching that which would be required to “rig” an election. Electoral integrity is key to our democracy, and politicians who genuinely care about protecting our elections should focus not on phantom fraud concerns, but on those abuses that actually threaten election security.
As historians and election experts have catalogued, there is a long history in this country of racially suppressive voting measures — including poll taxes and all-white primaries — put in place under the guise of stopping voter fraud that wasn’t actually occurring in the first place. The surest way toward voting that is truly free, fair, and accessible is to know the facts in the face of such rhetoric.
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