A woman from Mexico has been indicted on two counts of election fraud after allegedly voting illegally in the 2016 presidential election in Harris County.
Laura Janeth Garza is charged with voter impersonation and ineligible voting, both second-degree felonies.
Investigators say Garza’s case came to light when a U.S. citizen with the same name tried to apply for a passport, only to discover that someone else had obtained one using her identity.
The investigation determined that Garza obtained documents to steal the identity of a U.S. Citizen, and illegally registered to vote in Harris County.
She cast ballots in 2004, 2012 and 2016.
“This is more serious to me because you don’t accidentally use someone else’s ID to vote three times," KHOU 11 News Legal Analyst Gerald Treece said.
It’s something politicians normally have to beg people to do, but Garza is not a U.S. citizen, and investigators say she went out of her way and against the law to vote.
“We have some people here who don’t know you have to be a U.S. citizen, I get it, but you never have a person who doesn't know who they are, and is using someone else’s ID," Treece said.
Treece says each count carries a pricey punishment
“These two counts carry two to 20 years each in prison plus a substantial fine," Treece said.
Treece says a case like this is not common. What he has seen, however, is people voting illegally because they didn’t understand the law.