ILLEGAL VOTING ARREST IN EDWARDS COUNTY
On November 4th, 2014, Edwards County held Elections for local public office for County Judge, County Commissioner PCT 4, County Commissioner PCT 2, District Judge and District Attorney for the 452nd Judicial District. In such a rural area, one vote can often decide an election in this County as we have seen before.
A complaint was filed with the Edwards County Sheriff’s Office for a possible voting violation: Illegal Voting in Edwards County, State of Texas. Upon receiving the complaint, Manuel Rodriguez III., 45 years old, admitted to the Edwards County Sheriff’s Office that he had indeed voted by utilizing his Grandfather’s, Manuel Rodriguez Sr. identity who is 101 years old and has resided in Big Lake, Texas for the previous 5 years. Manuel Rodriguez III did not possess a voter’s registration card according to his own admission. Rodriguez III is not allowed to vote according to The State of Texas current law;
A person who is finally convicted of a felony is not eligible to register to vote (what is legally considered a final felony conviction is set, Pursuant to Section 11.002 of the Texas Election Code (the "Code"), once a felon has successfully completed his or her punishment, including any term of incarceration, parole, supervision, period of probation, or has been pardoned, then that person is immediately eligible to register to vote.
Rodriguez III is currently on Supervised Parole and is not eligible to register to vote nor is he eligible to vote in any Election until he completes his Parole.
Rodriguez III has been charged with Illegal Voting- Impersonation, and Illegal Voting-Not Eligible to Vote. Both charges are 2nd degree Felonies and if convicted Rodriguez III could face not more than 20 years or less than 2 years in the Texas Department of Corrections and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00 per violation.
Darrell Volkmann with the Edwards County Sheriff’s Office stated “I find it extremely hard to believe that one of the election workers at that particular voting precinct, PCT 3, did not recognize of Rodriguez III and recall his incarcerated past history. Rocksprings is a very small town and everyone is very aware of other’s business it seems and I find it highly unlikely that the validity of Rodriguez III’s voting during the election was not questioned. I have forwarded my findings into the allegations of Illegal Voting-Impersonation and Illegal Voting-Not Eligible to Vote in Edwards County to the 452nd District Attorney and the Secretary of State for prosecution in the matter.”
Manuel Rodriguez III remains in custody at the Edwards County Detention Center with bonds totaling $60,000.00.