Seventh Court Of Appeals Allows Texas AG To Prosecute Mail Ballot Fraud

Staff Report

Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton is the lawyer for the State of Texas and is charged by the Texas Constitution to:

  • defend the laws and the Constitution of the State of Texas
  • represent the State in litigation
  • approve public bond issues

To fulfill these responsibilities, the Office of the Attorney General serves as legal counsel to all boards and agencies of state government, issues legal opinions when requested by the Governor, heads of state agencies and other officials and agencies as provided by Texas statutes.

The Texas AG sits as an ex-officio member of state committees and commissions and defends challenges to state laws and suits against both state agencies and individual employees of the State.

Many Texans look to the Office of the Attorney General for guidance with disputes and legal issues. The agency receives hundreds of letters, phone calls and visits each week about crime victims’ compensation, child support, abuse in nursing homes, possible consumer fraud and other topics.

To find out more about the Texas Attorney General, visit the official website at

AG Paxton: Seventh Court of Appeals Allows Prosecution of Mail Ballot Fraudster to Move Forward

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today applauded the Seventh Court of Appeals in Amarillo, Texas for allowing the State to prosecute Erika Lozano-Pelayo for multiple counts of election fraud that resulted in two indictments.

Lozano-Pelayo was indicted for providing false information on applications for mail ballots and for causing intentionally misleading information to be provided in those applications.

“Those who violate our election laws don’t just steal a vote from another citizen, they destroy their community’s confidence in the democratic process. Mail ballots are intended to protect the voting rights of Texans who are unable to travel to polling locations, but criminals exploit this process to alter votes through manipulation and deception,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Fraudsters who threaten the viability of our democratic elections must be caught and prosecuted, and I thank the Seventh Court of Appeals for remanding this case to trial so the State may do just that.”

The trial court previously quashed part of Lozano-Pelayo’s indictments, blocking the State from alleging and proving that she committed multiple fraudulent acts during a single election.

The court also lowered two election-fraud charges from felonies to misdemeanors, although Lozano-Pelayo had not presented the court with adequate grounds for reducing the charges against her.

In its opinion, the Seventh Court of Appeals ruled that the trial court erred in quashing the allegations that Lozano-Pelayo committed multiple acts of election fraud and in lowering two charges to misdemeanors.

It reversed the trial court’s order and remanded the cases for trial. Under Texas election laws, the State has a duty to prosecute each election violation, including repeated violations by the same offender.

AG Paxton Releases Statement on SCOTUS Agreeing to Consider Question of Obamacare Validity

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider whether a legislative change to Obamacare’s unlawful individual mandate renders the entire law unconstitutional:

“Now that the individual mandate can no longer be preserved as a tax, the constitutionality of Obamacare must be determined. The Fifth Circuit correctly applied the existing U.S. Supreme Court precedent when they ruled that the individual mandate itself was unconstitutional. Without the individual mandate, the entire law becomes unsupportable. The federal government cannot order private citizens to purchase subpar insurance that they don’t want, and I look forward to finally settling the matter before the U.S. Supreme Court.”

When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Obamacare in 2012, a majority of the justices agreed that Obamacare’s individual mandate was constitutional only because its accompanying tax penalty could justify forcing individuals to purchase health insurance under Congress’ taxing power.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 removed the penalty, meaning Obamacare’s intrusive individual mandate cannot be preserved as a tax and rendering it unlawful.

Notification of Opinion

Official Request RQ-0302-KP:
Whether a depreciation benefit product purchased solely with cash is regulated by Occupations Code chapter 1304

Official Opinion KP-0289:
Occupations Code Chapter 1304 defines a depreciation benefit optional member program, in part, as a service contract financed under Chapters 348 and 353, Finance Code.

A depreciation benefit product that is leased or purchased solely with cash and not on an installment basis is not “financed under chapter 348 or chapter 353” and does not satisfy the definition in subsection 1304.003(a)(3). The product you describe, therefore, is distinct from the one regulated by chapter 1304.

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