Gregg Co. elections office looking into allegations of mail-in b - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Gregg Co. elections office looking into allegations of mail-in ballot tampering

LONGVIEW (KYTX) - When the local elections office gets your voting ballot in the mail, it wants that vote to be your true and honest vote.

Newly elected Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace James Mathis says that hasn't always happened according to plan.

"Precinct 4 has a history of illegal mail-in ballots," Mathis says. "It needs to come to an end. It needs to a closure."

Mail-in ballots are for people who are disabled or are a long distance from home, so they can vote without showing up at the ballot box.

You can help the voter fill it out, but if you do, you must sign the envelope. That signature is an affidavit saying you never tampered with the voter's ballot.

Gregg County elections workers say at least 15 people have complained that someone tampered with those mail-in ballots this primary election season. Mathis believes it happened in his race for justice of the peace.

When early and mail-in ballots were counted Tuesday, Mathis trailed opponent Phillip Burns more than 200 votes in the democratic run-off for Precinct 4 J.P. But after election day results were released, mathis won by nearly 80 votes.

"Every time we have an election in Precinct 4, that comes about," Mathis says. "The bottom line is, those that vote by mail have a right to vote by mail. Those that vote in person have a right to vote in person."

Gregg County Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy tells CBS 19 that she's gathering evidence on the complaints filed in her office.

If someone committed a crime, she says she's taking her case to the D.A.'s office.

"We're known as far as Houston about this illegal balloting going on here in East Texas," Mathis says.

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