Forged signatures could put election in danger

Legal proceedings will determine what will happen in a primary election for a justice of the peace race
February 4, 2014 3:38:34 PM PST
There could be big problems in the upcoming primary -- specifically in the race for justice of the peace. Investigators say signatures that got one candidate on the ballot may have been faked and now criminal charges have been filed.

The Harris County Republican Party is being sued over allegations of forged signatures in the race for Precinct 2 Place 2 Justice of Peace.

The incumbent is democrat George Risner. He's been in office since 1987. But also on the ballot is first time republican candidate, Leonila Olivares-Salazar.

Risner is alleging that many of the signatures Salazar obtained in order to get on the primary ballot were falsified.

Salazar claims she hired people to collect the signatures for her and never knew about the falsification until now. Four people who were collecting signatures for Salazar have since been indicted on criminal charges.

She said, "I didn't verify each individual one and I didn't go through each individual, because a lot of my opponents had already done that research."

The county clerk testified Tuesday morning that he doesn't have time to redo the primary ballot. Many people, in fact, have already voted through early voting.

Questions now remain -- will Salazar remain on the ballot, will the Republican Party be in trouble for allowing her on the ballot with so many concerns, and is there even time to do anything about it? We'll provide those answers as they become available.

Find Pooja on Facebook at PoojaLodhia-Reporter or on Twitter at @impoojalodhia

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