Upshur County GOP chairman alleges voter fraud
Aug. 1, 2012 at 11 p.m.
Upshur County GOP Chairman Ken Ambrose has filed a new complaint with the Texas attorney general regarding potential voter fraud in the county's primary election.
"It has come to the attention of the Upshur County Republican Party that several individuals claiming residence in Upshur County and voting in the recent primary may or may not be qualified to vote as residents of this county," Ambrose said. "To ensure the quality of the electorate, this matter has been referred to the office of the attorney general for their review."
Ambrose said at least six people participated in early voting for the May 29 Republican Primary with "questionable" addresses.
Lloyd Glenn Leach voted under an address listed on Texas 154 in Upshur County. According to Ambrose, that property was foreclosed by Gilmer National Bank in December 2011.
"Whether Mr. Leach was living at this address at the time of foreclosure is under question as well but has no bearing on the fact that it is known that the address used on his voter registration in Upshur County is not his property and he is not living at that address," Ambrose said. "When he early voted in May 2012 he would have been asked during the voter qualification process if the address was still correct (as all voters are asked)."
Another family of five people was registered to vote living on Coyote Road in Gilmer. There is no homestead exemption on the property, according to the Upshur County Appraisal District. The owners on record for the property are John Kenneth Patterson and Brenda Patterson. Brenda Patterson is the former GOP chairwoman of Upshur County.
Ken and Brenda Patterson as well as their three sons each voted in the May 29 primary under the address, Ambrose said. He added that he had been made aware that the house has been vacant for several years.
Leach and Ken Patterson are outgoing Republican precinct chairmen.
"It is highly unlikely that they do not understand the residence requirements for registered voters in Upshur County," Ambrose said. "I personally had asked Mr. Leach where he lived several times in the past two years and he steadfastly said he did not need to give me that information."
Ambrose said he felt the irregularities needed to be brought to the Attorney General's attention, asking what measures there are to stop people from voting in the county without proper residency.
"I am aware of the process of voter registration and the checks in place during the qualification of the voter at the polling locations; however, as long as the voters in Texas can use only their voter registration cards as qualification to vote the individuals who are willing to misrepresent themselves can continue to vote at will," he said.