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Harris County election officials warn against voting scam in Sunnyside

“It’s horrible it’s embarrassing, the intent is to intimidate people not to vote,” Commissioner Rodney Ellis said.

HOUSTON — The Harris County Elections Office is warning voters about a new scam targetting private voter information.

At least one county commissioner said a group with possible links to the Republican party approached residents living in Sunnyside in order to get their information. 

Neighbors in the Sunnyside community were taken back when they learned a group under the name of “ Texas Election Network” could be impersonating election workers and going door-to-door in an attempt to obtain private voter information and sign affidavits.

“That is crazy it’s heartbreaking, that is heartbreaking,” one resident said.

“It’s horrible it’s embarrassing, the intent is to intimidate people not to vote,” Commissioner Rodney Ellis said.

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Ellis represents Sunnyside, an area he grew up in, and said the activities should cease and desist.

“It looks like these folks from the research we’ve done and the press accounts we’ve read are directly funded by right-wing political operatives going all the way up the Republican National Committee,” Ellis said.

The men had badges and a clipboard, and officials said they went door to door trying to get voters' information.

“It’s surprising and worrying that individuals would be in any way misleading voters into thinking that they were from the election’s office and seeking personal information,” Beth Stevens, the interim elections administrator for Harris County said.

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An investigation has been launched looking for possible criminal violations.

“In the lead up to November, we are on high alert for any behavior that causes voter confusion or voter intimidation, and what has been described to us by the individuals who encountered these people is that it fits the bill for voter confusion at minimum, potentially voter intimidation,” Stevens said.

The Harris County Republican Party said it’s their understanding the group is a registered non-profit and citizen volunteers.

The county attorney condemned the action and said, “impersonating a public servant is a crime, and we are working closely with the elections administrator’s office to fully understand what happened."

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