March 5, 2008
|"I would be furious," said a voter. "What’s the world coming to where you can’t even go vote anymore? Somebody would even steal your right to vote."|
HOUSTON — Voters reported being turned away from the polls, prompting a criminal investigation into vote stealing, Local 2 Investigates reported Tuesday.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office confirmed it is contacting the victims, all centered around Precinct 219 in southeast Houston.
“I feel really hurt,” said Garland Boone, a voter in the Third Ward neighborhood off Yellowstone, where the scam was reported.
He said his neighbors who are victims “don’t have a chance to express their vote. Everybody needs to express their own vote.”
Precinct Judge Edna Russell told Local 2 Investigates that some senior citizen voters had to be turned away because absentee ballots had already been mailed in using their names.
“Somebody had already voted for me,” said Georgia Ireland.
She and the other victims reported that people were going door-to-door, offering help to seniors with filing voter registration forms.
Some victims signed the paperwork, while others did not, but the scammers then used the information to mail absentee ballots in their names, meaning their votes were stolen from them.
“I thought that was horrible,” Ireland said. “I really wanted to know how they could do that (because) I never signed nothing. Not a thing.”
Witnesses inside the voting location at Mount Olive Baptist Church said some of the victims cried and others yelled, “This is how they’re going to steal the election from (Presidential candidate Barrack) Obama.”