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POLK COUNTY CLERK CATCHES VOTER FRAUD EARLY

VALERIE REDDELL-POLK COUNTY ENTERPRISE NEWS

LIVINGSTON — Staff members checking the mail for the County Clerk on Wednesday discovered three suspicious ballots, according to County Clerk Schelana Myers Hock.

Two of the ballots for the Nov. 8 general election were mailed in plain envelopes and appear to have been created using information obtained from the third ballot.

“We have secured those questionable ballots separately from the returned ballots that are waiting to be counted on election day,” Hock said.

Hock also reported the incident to Lee Hon, the Criminal District Attorney for Polk County, for investigation and prosecution.

Fraudulent use of a ballot, just one of the charges that could apply to this incident, is a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Stiffer penalties were approved by the Texas Legislature during a special session in July 2017.

The high number of mail ballots Hock’s office handles puts Polk County among the most active counties in the state. This is not the first time her office has found irregularities, but so far no suspects have faced criminal charges.

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