Fresh questions about Dallas primary votes

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by BRETT SHIPP / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on April 13, 2010 at 10:41 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 13 at 11:03 PM

NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES

DALLAS — Mystery votes, allegations of fraud, and conflicting stories about who lives where — new questions in an ongoing News 8 investigation into voter fraud going back to the March primary election.

The questions center around the role of a powerful political family in Dallas and the extent to which someone may have gone to steal votes within their own family.

Pauline, Adam and Carlos Medrano are all elected to public office. But new questions have surfaced about Carlos Medrano's election as Dallas County Justice of the Peace in Precinct 5.

News 8 has confirmed that two of Medrano's relatives who supposedly voted in the March 2 election not only live in another city, but at least one of them said she never voted at all.

What's going on here?

Justice of the Peace Luis Sepulveda may be out of a job, but he is not out of bullets.

He has been going door-to-door looking for voting irregularities. In case after case, he says he has discovered people who say a stranger handled their mail-in ballots.

Sepulveda has one word for it: "Fraud."

His opponent and the winner of the primary election, Carlos Medrano, has declined to be interviewed by News 8, but he insists he won the race fair and square.

Yet a review of documents has turned up questions about the legitimacy of at least two more votes — especially intriguing because they involve two of Medrano's relatives, Raquel and Veronica Medrano.

Voting records show them as Dallas residents, living and voting from 2331 Douglas Avenue. But public records indicate the women live at a house in Mesquite.

A woman who identified herself as Veronica Medrano confirmed to News 8 that she lives in Mesquite with Raquel Medrano.

Veronica Medrano said she did not vote in the Democratic primary from the Douglas Avenue address, but declined to answer any additional questions.

So who really does live at 2331 Douglas?

While no one answered the door, voting records show that a total of four Medrano family members — including Raquel and Veronica — voted in the March 2 primary using 2331 Douglas as their home address.

Across the street, at 2338 Douglas Avenue, voting records show that five voters listed that address as their home, including Adam Medrano, Carlos Medrano, Socorro Medrano and two others.

Adam Medrano, currently the Dallas ISD school board president, told News 8 that he has lived at 2338 Douglas for 34 years. He said his mother and brother, Carlos, also live there.

He said the other two registered to vote at his house don't live there.

Just down the street, another Medrano family member, Ricardo Jr., tells a different story about those other two.

He said Virginia Coronado is their sister, and Erica Perez lives there as well. "That's their mailing address, that's their home address. That's where they were born and raised," Ricardo Medrano Jr. said. "They all come and go from there."

"But they don't live there, do they?" Medrano was asked. "For the most part, yeah," he replied."

And remember Veronica and Raquel, the two Medrano family members who said they live in Mesquite? We asked Ricardo about them. Like this entire election drama, his story about where they live gets a bit murky.

"That's grandmother's house," Ricardo Medrano Jr. said. "I don't know what their home address is."

What's more, Ricardo's father, Roberto Medrano Sr., a polling place clerk at — you guessed it — Medrano Elementary School — told News 8 Tuesday that Raquel and Veronica do live in that house on Douglas Avenue.

It's all part of the growing confusion and intrigue surrounding an election that is already the subject of inquiry by the Texas Attorney General's office, and could well become part of a criminal investigation.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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