AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today said his office continues to investigate allegations of voter fraud stemming from last year’s Edinburg municipal election. Late last week, investigators from the attorney general’s voter fraud unit, with assistance from the Texas Rangers, arrested four people in Hidalgo County for voter fraud.
Crystal Lee Ponce, Maria San Juanita Aleman and Veronica Vela Saenz were arrested for illegal voting, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Jose Antonio Vela II is charged with making a false statement on a voter registration form, a Class B misdemeanor.
“These arrests further demonstrate my office’s commitment to ensuring that the voting process is secure and fair in all Texas elections,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Anyone who attempts to deprive the people of Texas of their voice by undermining the integrity of elections will be brought to justice and penalized by the full extent of the law.”
The four arrests are part of a joint investigation by Attorney General Paxton’s office, the Texas Rangers and the Hidalgo County district attorney’s office into an organized illegal voting scheme carried out in the November 2017 city of Edinburg election. The attorney general’s office encourages individuals to come forward and cooperate, as arrests continue in this ongoing investigation.
Attorney General Paxton has made elections integrity a top priority. Currently, his office is prosecuting nine counts of voter fraud from the 2016 election cycle in Nueces County and two counts of non-citizen election fraud from the November 2016 general election in Harris County. In February, the attorney general announced a significant voter fraud initiative and addressed key problems and policy areas related to election law.