The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is now investigating a complaint of an individual requesting an election ballot for a dead person.
The Sheriff's office received the complaint from the Jefferson County Clerk's Office according to release from the Sheriff's Office.
If the complaint can be substantiated the suspect could be charged with "providing false information on an application" which is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail and possibly up to a $10,000 fine according to the release.
Jefferson County Clerk Carolyn Guidry confirmed to 12News that her office received an application for an absentee ballot in the name of a dead person.
Guidry told 12News that application was on a card provided to voters by the Jefferson County Republican Party.
Both parties provide such cards as a courtesy to help voters apply for absentee ballots and could be filled out by anyone.
She said the application, which was received Wednesday, was rejected by her office and will be forwarded to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office for investigation.
The application bore the signature of the dead woman’s husband as a witness, but it has not yet been confirmed if he is the one who, in fact, signed it.
Guidry said this is the only application she has received in the name of a dead person.
“If you receive an application from one of the political parties, and it has a deceased person’s name on it, it needs to be returned or destroyed," Guidry said.
"It is a crime to use them,” she said.
According to the Texas Secretary of State's website there are several reasons that could qualify a voter to be eligible to vote early by mail in including...
- Be 65 years or older;
- Be disabled;
- Be out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or
- Be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.