May also file election contest

Nicole D. Perez, Alice Echo-News Journal

District Attorney Joe Frank Garza announced Monday evening he will be conducting his own investigation into apparent election discrepancies in the March 4 Primary in Jim Wells County.

Garza has been contacted by the Attorney General's Office regarding these discrepancies, including voters who never received their mail-in ballots and duplicate mail-in applications, but said a potential investigation by the AG's office may take too long.

Additionally, Garza is hoping to raise $100,000 to contest the March 4 election, which he lost to challenger Armando Barrera. If successful in his contest, that could allow for a new election to be held.

"I've had tons of callers and people stopping me telling me all the same stories," Garza said.

"I'm not going to wait for the Attorney General's Office. I'm going to conduct my own investigation and submit those findings to the AG. I don't want to wait."

Garza's first step in his investigation is to have the ballots in Jim Wells and Brooks counties impounded.

Garza is not the only local official raising eyebrows regarding possible illegal activity in regards to the March 4 Primary.

Election Administrator Pearlie Jo Valadez also contacted the Attorney General's Office regarding questionable mail-in ballot applications her office received.

She indicated that as many as four ballot requests were submitted for one individual.

Additionally, Valadez said several residents cancelled their mail-in ballots because they said they had not requested one.

And, many ballots mailed to voters were never returned.