Dallas News (June 2, 2017) Authorities have issued their first arrest warrant in the Dallas County voter fraud case that roiled the May municipal elections in West Dallas and Grand Prairie, causing 700 suspicious mail-in ballots to be sequestered.
Miguel Hernandez, 27, of Dallas, is wanted on a charge of illegal voting, a third-degree felony. He is accused of visiting a woman around April 10 and collecting her blank absentee ballot, then filling it out and forging her signature on it before mailing it to the county, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Authorities say they plan to make more arrests in the case. Last month, Assistant District Attorney Andy Chatham and Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole named two persons of interest in the investigation, neither of whom was Hernandez.
Prosecutor Mike Snipes, a former judge and federal attorney, said Friday afternoon that he couldn’t say too much about the case, as it’s ongoing.
But he did say his office had been contacted by a woman from West Dallas who “knew she’d been duped into sending out an improper ballot” and contacted the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. She was shown a lineup and identified Hernandez.
Snipes said prosecutors were “not surprised” when she pointed at him.
Investigators declined to say whether they suspect Hernandez or any others are linked to any particular candidate. But they are expecting more arrests.
“Nothing in the next week,” Snipes said. “But in the next month? Probably. We’re happy we’ve got one warrant, the investigation’s proceeding, and we think we’re getting close.”
During the weeks leading up to the elections, dozens of senior citizens in West Dallas and Grand Prairie filed complaints saying they had received mail-in ballots that they had not requested. Some of them had also been told their mail-in ballot applications said they had been assisted by a “Jose Rodriguez,” a man they didn’t know.
At the district attorney’s request, a judge ordered the sequestration of 700 ballots that were linked to “Jose Rodriguez,” which authorities believed to be a fake name.