I know what most of you are thinking after reading this headline. That can’t be right. I was repeatedly assured by the people at CNN that this never happens and it’s all fake news generated by Trump supporters.
Well, if it is, they’re doing a really good job of getting law enforcement officials in Texas to go along with the gag. This news comes to us straight from the Texas Attorney General’s office. In Austin, a woman named Kelly Reagan Brunner who was working at a Supported Living Center for senior citizens has been arrested and charged with more than 100 counts of voter fraud. As we’ve seen far too often already, she was allegedly taking advantage of the diminished mental capacity of her patients to register them to vote and request ballots on their behalf. Many of the patients in question had previously been declared totally mentally incapacitated by a court. (CBS Dallas-Ft. Worth)
A social worker in the Mexia State Supported Living Center has been charged with 134 felony counts in an election fraud investigation.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office’s Election Fraud Unit assisted the Limestone County Sheriff and District Attorney in charging Kelly Reagan Brunner.
If convicted, Brunner faces up to 10 years in prison for the alleged offenses.
State Supported Living Centers serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the AG’s office explained in a news release Friday, Nov. 6.
The Mexia State Supported Living Center isn’t one of your run of the mill nursing homes for the elderly and infirm, some of whom may genuinely need and desire assistance with the registration and voting process. It’s an assisted living facility specifically serving the intellectually and developmentally challenged. In case this isn’t sinking in yet, Ms. Brunner was stealing the votes of the mentally impaired.
Even if that weren’t the case, Brunner would still be guilty of voter fraud. If some of the residents there had been begging her to register them, Texas election laws only allow a parent, spouse or child who is a qualified voter of the county to serve as an agent for the voter and register them on their behalf. Unless all of the residents turned out to be relatives of Brunner, she’s still looking at up to a decade behind bars.
The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that not one of the patients in question had given effective consent for Brunner to register them. So is there some other, more innocent explanation as to what was going on in the assisted living center? I certainly can’t think of one. This woman wasn’t registering senior citizens to vote as some sort of hobby. She obviously planned to cast votes on their behalf in violation of the law. Further investigation should reveal whether or not any ballots in the names of those patients showed up and were eventually counted.
Let’s keep in mind the fact that Kelly Reagan Brunner was just one person who happened to get caught. How many more stories like this one are out there? Just this week we learned that as many as 25,000 residents of various Pennsylvania nursing homes all requested mail-in ballots at the same time. What are the odds of that? Obviously, any of them who legitimately requested a ballot for themself should have the opportunity to vote. But when we see numbers like these and consider what was discovered in Texas, you can’t help but wonder whether or not there is ballot harvesting going on.