Last Updated on September 25, 2020
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the arrests of four individuals, including one county commissioner, in a ballot harvesting scheme that resulted in 134 counts of voter fraud being leveled against them.
Gregg County Commissioner Shannon Brown, Marlena Jackson, Charlie Burns, and DeWayne Ward are all charged with being part of an organized vote harvesting scheme. This voter fraud allegedly took place during the 2018 Democrat Primary Election.
The four are charged with targeting young, able-bodied voters, harvesting their mail-in ballots to cast ballots fraudulently, claiming the voters were disabled. In most cases this was done without the voters’ knowledge or consent, authorities said.
“It is an unfortunate reality that elections can be stolen outright by mail ballot fraud. Election fraud, particularly an organized mail ballot fraud scheme orchestrated by political operatives, is an affront to democracy and results in voter disenfranchisement and corruption at the highest level,” Paxton said in a statement. “Mail ballots are vulnerable to diversion, coercion, and influence by organized vote harvesting schemes…Those who try to manipulate the outcome of elections in Texas must be held accountable.”
A Texas Grand Jury returned 23 felony counts against Shannon Brown, a Democrat county commissioner; 97 counts against his wife Marlena Jackson; and 14 counts against Charlie Burns, and DeWayne Ward. The felony counts include illegal voting, fraudulent use of mail ballot applications, and unlawful possession of ballots. If convicted, each of the defendants face jail time, some upwards of 99 years.
Gregg County Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy told a local newspaper that mail-in ballots in that county’s Precinct Four had been heavily scrutinized. “They use this same group of people every election, because they get paid for it,” Nealy said. “I can’t repeat the names, but there is an organized group out there who thinks that this is their job.”
This is not the first instance of voter fraud involving mail-in ballots in Texas.
In July of this year, National File exposed a massive voter fraud ring operating in the State of Texas involving mail-in voting and Democrat political campaigns in Harris County that targeted nursing homes.