DALLAS – As voters across Dallas County prepare to head to polling sites for early voting, the Dallas County Elections and District Attorney’s offices are investigating complaints involving mail-in ballots.
Toni Pippins-Poole, the Dallas County Elections Administrator, is working closely with the District Attorney’s office in the ongoing criminal investigation.
“I’ve had to hire additional individuals for the phones, because the voters are calling in,” Pippins-Poole explained.
Workers say the Elections office has received between 50 and 100 complaints from voters about questionable mail-in ballots for the May 6th election. Many of them claim they received ballots they never requested.
“That’s not my signature,” said West Dallas resident Alice Washington as she examined a copy of a ballot by mail application that was on file under her name.
In Washington’s case, and some others, voters are saying their signatures were forged on the applications.
“We take this seriously,” Pippins-Poole explained. Her office is now in damage-control mode to ensure a fair voting process, and that every vote is legitimate and counts.
So far, a majority of the ballot by mail complaints are centered in West Dallas. There are also reports of senior and disabled voters in Oak Cliff and other parts of Dallas being targeted.
“It’s vote stealing,” State Representative Eric Johnson said during a news conference about the voter fraud complaints. “I’m not for it. I’m just against it!”
Johnson and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings are joining forces. They are asking the County Elections Administrator take steps to restore voter confidence in the upcoming election.
Mayor Mike Rawlings said, “We don’t know exactly what it is, but we just want to make sure that there is an investigation going on.”
Recently, Direct Action Texas, a local political group, filed a criminal complaint against Dallas County with the Secretary of State regarding voting irregularities. Its staff says that complaint has been forwarded to the Attorney General’s office.
As County and State agencies look into the alleged voting irregularities, Pippins-Poole has some advice for any voter who has a mail ballot they did not request.
“We want them to first give us a call,” she said.
Complaints can be made to the Dallas County Elections office by calling 214-819-6359.
Elections office staff is also suggests holding on to any questionable mail-in ballots, and bringing those to the early voting centers or election day polling sites.
”That mail ballot is a live ballot, and we need to have that returned to us,” Pippins-Poole explained.
County workers say they will be reviewing every mail-in ballot this election season.
Online complaints can also be filed by visiting DallasCountyVotes.Org.