Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has charged border town mayor Richard Molina and his wife Dalia Molina in a vote-harvesting scheme that saw him beat longtime mayor Richard Garcia by 1,240 votes.
Molina and his wife own an apartment complex that they used to register voters who live outside the city, and it involves some of their paid campaign workers as well. Texas has been cracking down on voter fraud, and there were already 16 arrests in the voter fraud scheme.
Texas AG Ken Paxton says that rigged elections result in voter apathy since they no longer believe their vote matters.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released a statement about the charges against Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina and his wife Dalia Molina.
“Voter fraud is an affront to democracy and places the decision-making authority of the Texas electorate in the hands of those who have no right to make those choices,” said Paxton in the statement.
“Voter apathy is caused by rigged elections with guaranteed outcomes,” he explained. “My office will always do everything it can to protect the integrity of Texas elections and the rights of every legal voter to cast a ballot and have it counted accurately. No one is above the law.”
The Molinas are charged with using fraudulent vote registrations in order to inflate his vote tally. Sixteen others have also been arrested in connection with the alleged voter fraud ring.
“Texas is cracking down on election fraud,” tweeted Texas Governor Greg Abbott on social media in response to the arrest.
Molina vehemently denies the charges and says he will fight them in court. If convicted, he faces 5 to 99 years in prison, or life.