Voter fraud alleged in Jim Wells County

SAN ANTONIO, TX District Attorney Joe Frank Garza, who lost his bid for a fifth term in the 79th District by 350 votes, said most of the complaints have focused on mail-in ballots.

About 2,300 mail-in ballots were sent out, and only 1,500 were returned. Yet a lot of people who came in to vote were told they had already voted by mail, Garza said.

Although he has received more than the usual number of complaints alleging voter fraud, Garza said he wouldn't contest the election.

His office put together reports at the request of Attorney General Greg Abbott's office.

County election administrator Pearlie Valadez also expressed concern to the attorney general's office.

"There is an investigation. They are looking into things, but there is nothing more I can say," said Valadez, who said she was asked not to discuss the probe.

Jim Wells has a long history of election skullduggery, going back to George Parr, a sheriff who is widely believed to have organized the legendary stuffed ballot box that gave a tight U.S. Senate race to Lyndon Johnson in 1948.

In the 60 years since, there have been repeated accusations of voter fraud in the rural South Texas county, ranging from fraudulent ballots to people paid for votes. Charges haven't resulted, however.

- Headlines at a glance

Copyright © 2023 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.