HOUSTON, TX (The Houston Chronicle) – A Mexican citizen pleaded guilty to election fraud charges on Thursday in Montgomery County for voting illegally in the 2016 presidential election, among others.
Laura Janeth Garza, a 38-year-old Mexican national, was handed a 10-year jail sentence, a $10,000 fine and will be deported after serving her jail time, according to the attorney general’s office. She pleaded guilty to charges of voter impersonation and ineligible voting, both second-degree felonies.
Garza allegedly obtained documents to steal the identity of a U.S. citizen and illegally registered to vote in Harris County, according to a joint investigation by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and the Texas Department of Public Safety. She used the alias Angie Yadira Zamora and cast ballots in 2004, 2012 and 2016.
“Election integrity is a top priority for my office, and arrests and convictions like this clearly demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that Texas elections remain free and fair,” Paxton said.
Election fraud has increasingly become a top issue among Republicans in Texas who have called attention to cases like Garza’s to prove their point that there is more voting fraud going on than many acknowledge. Last year, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a bill to increase penalties for absentee ballot fraud.