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Woman Accused of Ballot Fraud in Starr Co. Disputes Allegations

2 years 7 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, January 30 2018 Jan 30, 2018 January 30, 2018 5:10 PM January 30, 2018 in News

RIO GRANDE CITY – A woman charged with election fraud is disputing the allegations against her.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to her attorney who says there is a lot of information missing.

The attorney for 50-year-old Ernestina Barron, a school district employee, says this could possibly be a blame game.

Attorney Hilda Gonzalez is requesting documents used in the investigation by the county.

Barron is accused of six charges of election fraud and fraudulent use of an application for ballot by mail.

The Starr County District Attorney’s Office said the investigation began due to recent changes to the election code.

According to the affidavits filed for Barron’s arrest, statements were made by the voters whose ballots were in question.

Gonzalez says she believes their roles should also be examined.

“The buck stops with the voter. So, I don’t know if the voter was advised of all this or if he was pressured to blame somebody for his mistake or potentially to his crime, and shifted it over to my client,” she says.

The attorney says she requested the application for ballots by mail to see what portions were marked off by the voter and what parts were filled in by her client.

She’s also requesting videos of the interviews conducted by district attorney investigators.

The DA says more arrests are expected in this investigation.

Gonzalez adds they are also disputing that no ballots have yet to be filled out.

The Starr County Elections Administration’s Office says the mail-in ballots just arrived at their office on Tuesday and have not been mailed out.

The district attorney had also told us the investigation is looking at more people and at applications that go back to the 2016 election.

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