Vigilantes on One Side, Cheats on the Other? Tarrant County Faces Voter Fraud Claims

FORT WORTH -- The war of words is heating up in Tarrant County as a battle brews between Direct Action Texas and Hispanic leaders in Tarrant County.

“If my mother was bothered by Aaron Harris and I had been home, I don’t think it would’ve gone very well for those people on that front porch," State Representative Ramon Romero said in front of a small crowd Saturday in Fort Worth's Marine Park.

“To Domingo Garcia (local attorney), to Sergio DeLeon (Tarrant County Justice of the Peace), to Ruben Garcia (Tarrant County Precinct 5 Constable), to Sal Espino (Fort Worth City Council Rep. District 2) and Ramon Romero, I say very clearly, bring it on," Direct Action Texas Executive Director Aaron Harris responded later from his North Richland Hills office.

It's getting real, and the subject depends on who you ask.

"The door knocks, and three men show up," said North Texas attorney Domingo Garcia in Marine Park. "They ask, 'Who did you vote for?' 'Who helped you vote?' How would you feel if that happened to your grandmother or grandfather?"

In the eyes of the United Hispanic Council of Tarrant County, there's a clear element of voter intimidation happening locally, and it's targeting the area's senior citizens.

Harris, though, claims that Tarrant County leaders are stealing the vote of those same seniors through mail-in ballot deception, and this isn't a new allegation.

"We actually submitted our claim to the Secretary of State in October," he said.

Direct Action Texas has mail-in ballot applications where they claim the signatures don't match the ones on the actual ballots. In their eyes, these seniors are falling victim to a scam where someone is sending in the ballot application, taking it from the mailbox, filling it out, then getting the senior to sign it before sending it in.

The Texas Attorney General's Office is taking the claim seriously enough that they're looking into the claim.

Meanwhile, the United Hispanic Council of Tarrant County is turning the tables.

"We have a $25,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of anybody trying to intimidate a senior in Fort Worth or any other city in Texas," Garcia said.

Harris, though, says don't hold your breath on cashing in.

"It's easy to put up a $25,000 reward when you know you're never going to have to pay out," he said. "It's simply a myth. We haven't been in the field talking to voters since last summer."

Harris expects the judicial process to get rolling on this sometime next year.

The Hispanic Council has filed its own complaint with the Justice Department against Direct Action Texas.

They both say they just want a fair vote, but which ones truly mean it?