Public corruption is so bad in South Texas that the FBI developed a task force to clean up the Rio Grande Valley’s wrongdoings. In 2013, more public officials were convicted for corruption here than any other reason. The major sin, vote-stealing.
In South Texas, a local candidate can call on a campaign worker, or politiqueras, if they need dependable votes. After losing candidates challenged this practice, the authorities caught wind of the investigations, and both the Justice Department and the Texas attorney general’s office filed charges. James Sturgis, assistant U.S. attorney in McAllen says,
"Yes, there is a concern in which the politiqueras are being paid to then go and essentially round up voters and have them vote a certain way."
Voters were bribed with cigarettes, beer, or dime bags of cocaine, but other politiqueras tamper directly with mail-in ballots. Most are not willing to talk to reporters, but one like Herminia Becerra, spoke with NPR. As a self-anointed queen of politiqueras, Beccerra claims she can be the winning factor in small precincts.
Allegedly some politiqueras charge $10-20 for each mail-in ballot delivered in favor of their candidate. Yet, others simply know their precinct’s votng habits and can be a helpful political consultant. Some claim not to break the law and only to deliver votes.
Citizens Against Voter Abuse (CAVA) founder, Mary Helen Flores discussed with NPR that
"[I]t's important to clean up Valley elections because residents need honest leaders to address the rates of high poverty and low educational achievement in the region, not office-holders who feather their nests."
Vote fraud disenfranchises legal voters including the poor. It is particularly ironic that this practice is so widespread in Texas where the left spent so much of last year denying the existence of vote fraud and fighting against commonsense measures to combat fraud such as voter ID.