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GARCIA UPSET OVER LETTER ABOUT ILLEGAL VOTING

January 5, 2002 (Dallas) - Mayoral candidate Domingo Garcia is apparently upset over letters sent to some of his campaign workers asking them to contact the District Attorney.

The letter, sent by certified mail, asks recipients to call “about your activities with regard to absentee mail ballots.

Adelfa Callejo, chairwoman of the Coalition of Hispanic Organizations accused the D.A. of racism, and alleged that the letter was an attempt to supress people collecting absentee ballots.  She also accused the D.A. of racial profiling and numerous other popular rhetorical activities--all centering around racism.

Ms. Callejo also called for a Justice Department investigation.  This tactic, frequently used in such cases, is used more for the sake of publicity and less for the sake of hoping for an actual investigation.

Eric Mountin, chief of the D.A.’s Public Integrity Section pointed out that Ms. Callejo’s charges were completely false. "For them to represent the efforts of the district attorney's office as anything but an attempt to ensure the integrity of the balloting process is a total misrepresentation of the truth and a disservice to the entire community," he said.

According to the Secretary of State, mail-in ballot fraud is on the rise. “Scams designed to manipulate the voting process by gaining access to mail-in ballots are becoming a widespread problem in Texas,” reports one publication.

Indeed many “vote brokers” have become experts at manipulating the system.  These activities can produce hundreds of illegal votes--in many cases, enough to sway an election--and robbing votes from legitimate voters.

In many cases, vote brokers intimidate voters--threatening retaliation if the individual does not vote for a particular candidate or issue.

Both the Dallas County Elections Department and the District Attorney have received many complaints about the activity.


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