New voter fraud concerns in Dallas County elections

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by BRETT SHIPP / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on April 14, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 14 at 10:49 PM

NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES

DALLAS — Claims of voter fraud in Dallas County continued to expand Wednesday following a News 8 investigation raising questions about the voting habits of the politically powerful Medrano family.

Now, new questions about possible cheating are being raised, this time against the defeated candidate who's been claiming he is the victim.

Our investigation led us to the Mesquite home of two relatives of Carlos Medrano, who was recently elected as Dallas County Justice of the Peace in Precinct 5, Place 1.

County records, however, show the women listed their residence as a house on Douglas Avenue in Dallas.

But there's another problem: One of the Mesquite residents, Veronica Medrano, told News 8 that she didn't vote in the March 2 Democratic primary.

News 8 also discovered two Medrano-owned houses in which nine family or friends are registered to vote, even though there are conflicting reports about who really lives there.

"Gosh, I was stunned," said defeated Justice of the Peace Luis Sepulveda. "I was just completely stunned ... I wouldn't think that anyone would do anything like this in an election of such importance, especially that type of family."

But the Medrano campaign is quick to point out that Sepulveda may have voter residency issues within his own family.

Six relatives, two children and both of his parents are registered to vote at his home address, even though four of them don't actually live there.

Sepulveda says his house has been the primary residence for his family for some time.

"If the Medranos are going to come in making allegations, they are going to have to answer first to the accusations about voting those two girls who say they didn't vote," Sepulveda said.

County Judge Jim Foster is leading the charge in trying to get to the bottom of the all fraud allegations. Two weeks ago, he delivered formal voter fraud complaints to the Texas Secretary of State.

After Tuesday's report on News 8, Foster said he fully expects the Texas Attorney General's office to aggressively investigate.

"It tells me that there has been a long, ongoing problem with voter fraud with Dallas County," Foster said. "We know this, and we are addressing it. We are going to continue to address this until we find a way to resolve it."

The Medrano campaign declined to go on camera Wednesday, but did say this:  "If there had been any widespread fraud, then there should have been more complaints before the election. If there was any fraud at all, it was probably minor."

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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