Nueces County Clerk, Kara Sands, is pleased to announce that on Friday, August 11, 2017 Gov. Greg Abbott signed an anti-voter fraud bill that will prevent mail-in ballot fraud and increase penalties for those partaking in voter fraud acts. 

Voter fraud is defined as voting or attempting to vote knowing one is not eligible to vote, voting or attempting to vote more than once, knowingly voting or attempting to vote while impersonating another, marking or attempting to mark another's ballot without the consent of that person, knowingly providing false information on a mail-in ballot application, intentionally submitting an application for ballot by mail without the knowledge of the voter, and knowingly altering information on an application without the voters consent.

"There are currently over 50 active voter fraud investigations in the state of Texas, three of which are in Nueces County" County Clerk Kara Sands said.

Prior to the Anti Voter Fraud Bill (Senate Bill 5) being passed, if caught, a person could face a Class A misdemeanor which includes up to one year imprisonment and up to a $5,000 fine. Senate Bill 5 now calls for stricter and higher penalties such as facing a state jail felony consisting of up to 2 years imprisonment and paying a $10,000 fine. "I'm grateful to the Commissioners Court for unanimously passing a resolution in support of Senate Bill 5" and would like to "thank State Representatives Todd Hunter and Abel Herrero for voting in favor of the bill," she said.

"My primary focus is to protect the integrity of our election process, and keep our most vulnerable voters (i.e. disabled and elderly) from being disenfranchised and taken advantage of by vote harvesters. I believe the passing of Senate Bill 5 will help accomplish these goals" Sands said.