Police in South Texas arrested a fired Starr County Democrat precinct worker on multiple voter fraud charges related to the upcoming 2018 midterm election.
Starr County District Attorney Omar Escobar, Jr., confirmed to the Monitor that, on Thursday, investigators with his office took into custody Modesta Vela, 60, and charged her with four felony counts of illegal voting, election fraud, and knowingly possessing a ballot or ballot envelope of another person with the intent to defraud, as well as a misdemeanor charge of unlawful assistance of a voter.
The Starr County DA’s office opened an investigation on Vela more than a week ago, according to the McAllen-based newspaper. Escobar said the charges followed a probe into a complaint filed at the elections administrator’s office. It alleged that Vela approached an elderly voter in the border city of Roma, took the voter’s mail-in ballot for the November 2018 election, filled it out herself, and mailed it. Vela allegedly voted differently than the voter intended. Subsequently, investigators with Escobar’s office stopped Vela while driving on Thursday evening and told her a warrant was issued for her arrest.
Vela was a longtime employee of Starr County’s Precinct 2, but was fired earlier this year. Escobar told the Monitor she assisted more than 200 people with their ballots by mail during Starr County’s March 2018 Democratic primary election. more here