DALLAS (CN) – A local attorney claims in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that Dallas County’s elections administrator should be removed from office for reportedly distributing hundreds of absentee ballots to elderly voters who did not request them.
Justin Jay Koch, an attorney with William M. Woodall PC, sued Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole in Dallas County District Court.
Prosecutors said a voter picked him out of a lineup after saying she handed him a blank ballot that he allegedly offered to deliver to election officials on her behalf.
Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson began investigating in May after several elderly voters in West Dallas complained about receiving absentee ballots in the mail that they did not request. Others complained they were unable to vote on Election Day as someone apparently had mailed in absentee votes in their names.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton – a fellow Republican – soon joined the investigation, saying it was to “solidify” public trust in elections.
Koch’s lawsuit claims the voter fraud could have been stopped if Pippins-Poole did her job competently.
“It was her duty to oversee the examination of signatures for the purpose of comparison on mail in ballots and requests for mail in ballots,” the five-page complaint states. “It was her duty to ensure the mail in ballots were handled in a competent manner free of systematic fraud.”
Koch also claims Pippins-Poole engaged in official misconduct when she allegedly accepted a $1,500 gift from county elections vendor ES&S “to pay for lapel pins for her bid to become president of the International Association of Government Officials,” a Raleigh, N.C.-based association of government clerks, recorders, election officials and treasurers.
In addition, Koch accuses Pippins-Poole of “soliciting $500 to $800 from six elections company vendors” for a charity on behalf of her IAGO delegation from Texas.
County officials did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment late Tuesday afternoon.
Koch seeks Pippins-Poole’s removal from office under the Texas Election Code, Texas Government Code and Local Government Code.