SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales on Wednesday requested a legal opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on whether he can prosecute federal officials who intentionally deprive residents the right to vote.
According to a news release, the request from the Democrat specifically asks Paxton, a Republican, to clarify the scope of the authority of a criminal district attorney to prosecute a federal official who knowingly violates the Texas Election Code by preventing Texas voters – especially those age 65 or older – from voting by mail.
Gonzales cited local media reports that show mail sorting equipment being removed from Bexar County post offices, which forces post offices employees to hand-sort mail.
“If Bexar County residents cannot rely on the USPS to deliver things like medication or pay bills on time, how can they be certain their ballots will be received, let alone counted?” Gonzales said. “While Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has routinely focused on virtually non-existent voter fraud, I am more concerned with what appears to be an effort to keep lawful voters from any party from being able to have their mail-in votes tallied without the federal government standing in the way.”
During a news conference Wednesday, Democratic U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro said that six mail sorting machines had been removed from the San Antonio General Mail Facility.
Castro said prior to the news conference, he toured the facility out of concern for local residents who have told him that medicines, bills and other mail are arriving late.
The congressman said the concerns are a product of recent cost-cutting measures newly appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy ordered following years of financial losses at the agency.
However, following backlash by the public and lawsuits over concerns of delayed mail, including potentially mail-in ballots, DeJoy is halting some of the operational changes to mail delivery until after the November election.