Fact-check: Can a Texan register a dead relative to vote, then cast a mail ballot in their name?

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Amy Sherman, PolitiFactOctober 19, 2022 1:43 pm,

From PolitiFact:

When family members die, mail addressed to them can continue to arrive for years. A Facebook post suggests that this is a path to voter fraud.

A Facebook user copied a post from a man in Texas who said the campaign for Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for governor, sent a voter registration form to his mother, even though she died in 2020. The post said much of his mother’s identifying information, including date of birth, was already filled in on the form.

A “dishonest recipient” could submit the voter registration form to the county and “register the deceased to vote,” the Facebook post stated. “They then can request a mail ballot. With the numbers already provided for ID, they then can vote for the deceased person. No picture ID required.”

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook.)

It’s possible to try to register a dead relative to vote — but it’s a crime. As in other states, Texas election officials take a lot of steps to ensure that only eligible living citizens register to vote and cast ballots.

From the photos in the post, we could not see a disclaimer on the mailer to assess if it was from O’Rourke’s campaign or a third party group supporting his campaign; O’Rourke’s campaign didn’t respond to our emails.

We aren’t questioning whether a voter registration application was sent to a woman who had died. We are fact-checking how likely it is that someone could use that application to register a dead person to vote and then cast a ballot on that person’s behalf.

Evidence shows cases in multiple states of people prosecuted for casting a ballot in the name of a dead relative, but the examples are rare.  …

Read the full story at PolitiFact, and listen to an interview with PolitiFact Texas’ Nusaiba Mizan in the audio player above.

Radio interview produced by Sean Saldana

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