The voter fraud prosecution comes less than a year after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an election integrity law.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the successful prosecution of a woman who committed 26 counts of voter fraud.
Monica Mendez pleaded guilty to 26 felony counts of voter fraud in Victoria County, Texas, including “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,” Paxton’s office said in a press release Friday.
According to the indictment, Mendez was in charge of a vote-harvesting operation aimed at influencing the results of a local utility board election. After entering the guilty pleas, she was sentenced to five years of deferred adjudication probation.
The conviction comes less than a year after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a new election integrity law in the state, sparking controversy from critics who claimed the law was aimed at suppressing minority voting.
The bill banned overnight early voting hours and drive-thru voting, while codifying poll watchers access to polling locations by mandating that the watchers should be able to “see or hear” any activity at the polling location.
“One thing that all Texans can agree [on] and that is that we must have trust and confidence in our elections. The bill that I’m about to sign helps to achieve that goal,” Abbott said at the time. “The law does, however, make it harder for fraudulent votes to be cast.”
Paxton said that the latest prosecution under the law in Victoria County was investigated by his office’s Election Integrity team, with the Victoria County District Attorney’s Office also cooperating in the case.