Monday, March 31, 2008

Texas Prosecutes Little Old Ladies for Voter Fraud

State's Attorney General has prosecuted Democrats who help seniors vote by mail while ignoring documented Republican ballot box stuffing.

Go to Alternet original
Willie Ray was a 69-year-old African-American City Council member from Texarkana who wanted her granddaughter, Jamillah Johnson, to learn about civil rights and voting during the 2004 presidential election. The pair helped homebound seniors citizens get absentee ballots, and once they were filled out, put them in the mail.

Fort Worth's Gloria Meeks, 69, was a church-going, community activist who proudly ran a phone bank and helped homebound elderly people like Parthenia McDonald, 79, to vote by mail. McDonald, whose mailbox was two blocks away from her home (she recently died), called Meeks "an angel" for helping her, a friend of both women said.

And until he recently moved out of state, Walter Hinojosa, a retired school teacher and labor organizer from Austin, was another Democratic Party volunteer who helped elderly and disabled people vote by getting them absentee ballots and mailing them.

Today, Ray and Johnson have criminal records for breaking Texas election law and faced travel restrictions during a six-month probation. Gloria Meeks is in a nursing home after having a stroke, prompted in part, her friends say, by state police who investigated her -- including spying on Meeks while she bathed -- and then questioned her about helping McDonald and others to vote. Hinojosa, meanwhile, has left Texas.

Their crime: not signing their name, address and signature on the back of the ballots they mailed for their senior neighbors, and carrying envelopes containing those ballots to the mailbox. Since 2005, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, has been prosecuting Democratic Party activists, almost all African-Americans and Latinos, as part of an effort to eradicate what he said was an "epidemic" of voter fraud in Texas.


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