DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Someone may have tampered with hundreds of mail in ballots in Dallas County.
The District Attorney’s Office has launched a criminal investigation into voter fraud, following a pattern of similar complaints regarding mail in-ballots.
“I’m quite capable of going to the polls,” said Mary Milam, 67.
She prefers voting in person and was surprised to receive an absentee ballot in the mail.
“Why would I get an absentee ballot when I never signed up for one?” she asked.
When she asked the Dallas County Elections Department, an employee told her she did, in fact, request one. Milam says, someone forged her signature on a mail in ballot application. That application showed Milam had received help from “Jose Rodriguez” filling it out.
“Who is this? I don’t know a Jose Rodriguez,” she said.
Dallas County Assistant DA Andy Chatham says hundreds of ballots appear to have been signed by the same Jose Rodriguez. Chatham said the ballots were, “written in very shaky almost illegible handwriting.”
The name and south Dallas address provided are both believed to be fake.
The DA launched an investigation and a judge to set aside 700 suspicious ballots. Monday that same judge granted prosecutors access to 40 ballots that voters have confirmed they didn’t cast.
“They showed up to vote on Saturday, they were informed you requested a mail in ballot, they said ‘no, I didn’t,’ ” said Chatham. “The person filled out a form, disavowing the mail in ballot.”
Chatham said he plans to order fingerprinting, DNA analysis, or any other forensic tests that could identify who sent the ballots. But Milam is anxious to learn who tried to steal her vote.
“How dare they? That’s trampling on my rights as a citizen,” she said.
Chatham said he does not yet know which candidates the suspicious ballots supported.
The Elections Department is now reviewing the remainder of the ballots to determine which were lawfully submitted.