Is Texas AG Part of New Voter Scam?

Greg Abbott withheld suspicious documents from State Legislators
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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is again in the center of a vote suppression controversy after it was revealed last week that his office withheld suspicious and possibly fabricated documents alleging Hidalgo County voting improprieties. Abbott has been criticized for spending millions of dollars on his infamous “voter fraud unit” that repeatedly has harassed and intimidated minority senior citizens while failing to uncover any significant crimes related to voting.

Read more about Abbott’s Vote Suppression Efforts Here

What Happened?

  • Late last week, State Representative Rafael Anchia (HD103 – Dallas) revealed that Greg Abbott had improperly withheld a series of highly suspicious affidavits and letters alleging voter fraud in Hidalgo County during a local municipal election in May of 2008 and the November 2008 General Election.
  • The suspicious documents include four possibly fraudulent affidavits discussing impersonation voting. Three of the affidavits are signed by the same Notary Public and have oddly similar language and phrasing.
  • Both State Representative Rafael Anchia and State Senator Kirk Watson (SD14 – Austin) filed separate formal requests weeks ago calling on the Attorney General to provide them all documents related to complaints and investigations of voter fraud. (Dallas Morning News, March 7, 2009)
  • Abbott failed to provide the documents or even notify the Legislators of their existence. Representative Anchia learned about the suspicious documents from sources outside the AG’s office. (Dallas Morning News, March 7, 2009)

Why would Abbott withhold the documents?

  • The Texas State Senate is scheduled to conduct a hearing on Tuesday, March 10th on a highly controversial Voter Photo ID bill that nonpartisan experts contend will not correct any voting irregularities but, instead, will create barriers for senior citizens, young voters, minority voters and women in general to cast a legal ballot.
  • The bill is recognized as highly partisan, benefiting Republicans while failing to address any legitimate voter fraud concerns. Every major newspaper in Texas has editorialized against it.
  • Enacting a partisan Voter Photo ID bill will help Greg Abbott, Rick Perry, David Dewhurst, Joe Straus and other harshly partisan Republicans hold power even in the face of the growing influence of mainstream Democrats and Independents in Texas elections.
  • Given Greg Abbott’s overtly partisan activities and his long dark history of using the AG’s office and its law enforcement authority to block senior citizens and others from voting, it is reasonable to believe he intentionally withheld the Hidalgo County documents to prevent Democrats from examining them prior to the March 10th hearing.
  • By “springing” the unexamined documents during the hearing, Republicans could counter the mountain of expert testimony and other evidence discrediting their partisan efforts to create barriers to voting. (Dallas Morning News, March 7, 2009)

What is Abbott Saying?

Predictably, Abbott is generating multiple bad excuses for failing to produce the documents as required.

  • First, Abbott lamely said that the documents were missing due to a “typographical error” confusing Hidalgo County with Dickens County. This led one reporter to write that it must have been, “some heck of a typo.” (Austin American-Statesman, March 6, 2009)
  • Abbott then tried the excuse that the Legislators’ requests were not specific. (Dallas Morning News, March 7, 2009)

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