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Inte­gri­dad Electoral

La protección de las elecciones es fundamental para una república próspera. La Legislatura hizo mejoras importantes a las leyes estatales de integridad electoral en 2017, lo cual ha  aumentado  el número de envíos de casos de fraude de votantes a esta agencia. Una prioridad principal del Procurador General es investigar y fiscalizar las afirmaciones de fraude de votante para asegurar la integridad electoral dentro de Texas.

457

Ofensas de fraude electoral que han sido fiscalizadas por la Procuraduría General desde 2004

97

Cantidad de violaciones electorales fiscalizadas en 2018, con 63 cargos pendientes para ser fiscalizados

75

Número de investigaciones de fraude electoral activas actualmente

What is election fraud?

Election fraud, in the most general sense, is any attempt to subvert or manipulate the electoral process by illegal means.

What type of election fraud activities occur?

There are over 100 different criminal offenses within the Texas Election Code, but the majority fall into a few major categories. 

Illegal voting:  Illegal voting is when a person who is not qualified to vote, such as non-citizens, non-residents, and felons, casts a vote.  Illegal voting also includes voter impersonation or voting another person’s ballot. 

Mail Ballot fraud:  This activity is also known as vote harvesting.  Vote harvesting exploits the inherent insecurities of the mail ballot system in two phases: seeding and harvesting.  In the seeding phase, applications for mail ballots are generated to saturate targeted precincts with mail ballots.  Commonly used schemes involve gaining voters’ signatures by deception, intimidation, or forgery; and/or fraudulently making an application for a voter who is not qualified to vote by mail, often by claiming that an able-bodied person is disabled.  In the harvesting phase, workers target voters as they receive their ballots in the mail and obtain votes for the candidates they support, either by intimidation, deception, compensation, influence, or outright theft of the ballot itself.

Voter Assistance fraud:  Exploiting the legitimate voter assistance process intended for voters who cannot read or physically mark their own ballots, in order for campaign workers to insert themselves into the voting process.   Campaign workers approach voters in parking lots of polling places and, often implying that they are official election workers, tell voters they are going to "assist" them with the voting process.  Election clerks are trained, under current law, not to question whether the voter is qualified for assistance or has requested the "assistant" to help them. Votes are then secured for the candidates of the assistant’s choice.

What are the penalties associated with election fraud?

Penalties range from misdemeanor offenses up to felonies, depending on the offense.  In 2017, the Texas Legislature increased the penalties for most mail ballot related offenses to state jail felonies or higher.

What is the Office of the Attorney General’s role in enforcing the election laws?

The Office of the Attorney General has statewide investigation authority and concurrent prosecution authority with local elected prosecutors over the election laws of the State.  The OAG has deep experience and specialized resources to help train or assist local law enforcement and prosecution in working up complex and challenging election fraud cases.

How are election fraud cases referred to the Office of the Attorney General?

An individual may submit an election complaint to the Texas Secretary of State through the use of a form found online at: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/forms/complaintform-sos.pdf.  The Secretary of State will refer these complaints to the Office of the Attorney General to investigate the allegations and prosecute election fraud.  Chapter 273, Texas Election Code, gives the OAG authority to investigate and prosecute election code violations anywhere in Texas.  Note, for a campaign-related complaint, please contact the Texas Ethics Commission.

Puntos para Evitar Ser Víctima de Fraude de Votante

Conozca Sus Derechos

  • Usted tiene derecho a votar de la manera que usted quiera. Es un crimen cuando una persona lo presiona o influye mientras que usted está votando.
  • Si usted tiene una discapacidad o si es mayor de 65 años, usted tiene derecho a votar por correo o votación ausente o en persona el sitio de votación.
  • Un funcionario electoral jamás se le va a acercar a usted en su hogar o afuera del sitio de votar para ofrecer asistencia o tomar su boleta de votar. No entregue su boleta de votar a una persona en la que usted no confía.
  • Usted tiene derecho a votar solo, en secreto. Seleccione a una persona que usted confía para que le ayude si no puede llenar la boleta de votar por sí mismo.
  • Si usted permite a otra persona que le ayude a leer y marcar su voto, usted tiene derecho a inspeccionar la boleta de votar para confirmar que está correcta.
  • Es un crimen cuando una persona toma la boleta de votar de usted, al menos que usted no pueda físicamente enviar por correo su propia boleta de votar y usted haya solicitado asistencia.

 

Para preguntas sobre las leyes electorales, por favor consulte con la Secretaría de Estado.

Para preguntas relacionadas a campañas políticas, por favor consulte con la Comisión de Éticas de Texas.

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