A Mexia social worker, Kelly Reagan Brunner, who worked at a State Supported Living Center (SSLC), was charged with 134 felony counts “of purportedly acting as an agent of election fraud,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Office announced.
If convicted, Brunner faces up to 10 years in prison for these offenses.
The AG’s Election Fraud Unit worked with the Limestone County Sheriff, District Attorney, Department of Health and Human Services, and Office of the Inspector General to investigate the charges.
SSLCs serve people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Brunner was charged with submitting voter registration applications on behalf of 67 residents without their signature or effective consent, while purporting to act as their agent, the AG’s office said.
Under Texas law, only a parent, spouse or child who is a qualified legal voter of the county may act as an agent in registering a person to vote. They must also have been appointed by that individual to do so. None of the SSLC patients gave effective consent to be registered. A number of them have been declared mentally incapacitated by a court, thereby making them ineligible to vote in Texas, the AG’s office said.
“Registering citizens to vote or to obtain mail ballots without their consent is illegal,” Paxton said in a statement. “It is particularly offensive when individuals purport to be champions for disability rights, when in reality they are abusing our most vulnerable citizens in order to gain access to their ballots and amplify their own political voice. My office is prepared to assist any Texas county in combating this insidious form of fraud.”
The announcement came less than two weeks after the same election fraud unit began investigating claims of another woman reportedly committing voter fraud, this time in Bexar County, after video and audio recordings were made public by undercover journalists working for Project Veritas.
“What’s shown in the video is shocking and should alarm all Texans who care about election integrity,” Paxton said in a statement. “We are aggressively investigating the serious allegations and potential crimes that Project Veritas’s documentary audio and video recordings shed light on today. Anyone who attempts to defraud the people of Texas, deprive them of their vote, or undermine the integrity of elections will be brought to justice and penalized to the fullest extent of the law.”
A series of undercover audio and video recordings depict a female, Raquel Rodriguez, stating that she can deliver votes for any candidates on the ballot for cash. She claims to have helped elect both Democrat and Republican candidates to office.
In one recording, she said the cost for her team was $6 per vote.
When asked about how many votes she could bring for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate M.J. Hegar, she said, “At least 5,000.” When asked how much this would cost, she replied, “For the entire team that I’m looking at, $55,000.”
In a separate recording, a reporter said on camera, “5,000 votes could swing the entire state.” Rodriguez replied, “Of course it can.”
Since 2004, according to State Attorney General Office records, 150 individuals have been charged with a voter fraud crime in Texas. Among them, 138 were convicted by pleading guilty or taking their cases to a courtroom. The vast majority of cases were settled through plea agreements.