A date has been set for oral arguments in the appeal of James Alan Jenkins voter fraud conviction. Jenkins was charged by grand jury indictment for violating 64.102 (a) 1 of the Texas Election Code for voting in an election in which he knew he was not eligible to vote.
A Montgomery County jury convicted Jenkins on June 27, 2013 and he was sentenced to three years in jail and a fine in the amount of $10,000.
On June 4, 2015 the Court of Appeals reversed the judgement and remanded the case for a new trial.
Oral arguments are set for February 3, 2016 according to documents filed December 23, 2015.
In 2010, ten people challenged a developer-controlled special purpose district in The Woodlands, Texas called The Woodlands Road Utility District #1. Based on the advice of local, county and state election officials they publicly sought and filed to lawfully vote in a special purpose district election and won—and through a subsequent politically-driven prosecution—four of them, including Jenkins were sentenced to jail.
Although former Texas Attorney General now Governor Greg Abbott wrote in Opinion No. GA-0141 that:
“every person is strongly presumed to have “the right and privilege of fixing his residence according to his own desires”
and referenced the Texas Supreme Court decision in Mills v Bartlett where the court declared that:
“neither bodily presence alone nor intention alone will suffice to create the residence, but when the two coincide at that moment the residence is fixed and determined. There is no specific length of time for the bodily presence to continue.”
—the full force and resources of the Office of the Attorney General were brought to bear upon The Woodlands RUD Ten for following the very advice that local, county and state election officials not only recommended they seek but provided in writing to them—and registered to vote using the address of the Residence Inn located within the boundaries of the RUD and subsequently voted in the May 8, 2010 election.
There is no Texas law specifically requiring someone physically live in a district they are registered to vote in, only that they have an address to use for residency in that district.
This election loophole was recently reported as used in both Fort Bend and Montgomery Counties through Rent-A-Voter services whereby two developer-chosen voters are “moved” into a 6 month temporary trailer for the purpose of voting in MUD elections for the passage of millions of dollars in bonds and the tax levied on future property owners in the MUD to repay the bond debt—meeting the requirement to have an address to use for residency in the MUD district—yet not planning to reside more than 6 months in the temporary trailer.
Jenkins in his appeal claims the Court of Appeals erred in failing to affirm the trial court’s ruling denying Jenkins request for Section 8.03 Mistake of Law instruction and erred in finding Jenkins was harmed by the trial courts failure to provide a Section 8.03 Mistake of Law instruction.
Court documents filed contain a copy of “The Gaultney Certification Letter”.
Issued April 19, 2010 and more than two weeks before the May 8, 2010 RUD election Carol Gaultney, then Montgomery County elections administrator and registrar, contained a:
“list representing a best effort to accurately identify all eligible voters within the boundaries of The Woodlands Road utility District #1.”
James Alan Jenkins name appears on the list of eligible voters.
The Gaultney Certification Letter was referred to during Jenkins’ trial court testimony but was excluded by the trial court from admission as a defense exhibit.
Oral arguments will start at 9:00 am in Austin.