Mail-in ballots sequestered for upcoming runoff elections

The Dallas County District Attorney is making plans to sequester all mail-in ballots for the upcoming runoff elections after the voter fraud investigation.

Prosecutors say there are 1,500 mail-in ballots that were likely illegally requested without voter permission. There were so many complaints about possible voter fraud that next week, the elections office and prosecutors will do a voter outreach emphasizing that it is okay to cast mail-in ballots in the runoff elections.

The biggest warning is for voters to not hand their mail-in ballots to anyone they don't know.

Sidney Williams says his phone is constantly ringing after he recorded Jose Barrientos.

“A lot of people are liking that I'm speaking out, talking about voter fraud,” he said. “They say this brings an open chapter in Dallas County.”

Williams let FOX 4’s Lori Brown listen to the audio. In it, Barrientos is heard laughing about how voter fraud works. Barrientos later acknowledged that he's the voice on the secretly recorded audio.

"I say in the tape, I'm the master of stuff that goes on in politics,” Barrientos said in an interview with FOX 4. “I have the ear for listening and putting things together. But I don't do anything illegal.”

A prosecutor says Barrientos is a person of interest in their investigation involving six boxes of suspicious ballots. The DA’s office began investigating after complaints from people who received mail-in ballots without requesting them.

Williams is also a person of interest, according to the investigator, as is anyone who has any knowledge about the possible voter fraud in Dallas County.

"I believe everyone is going to be a person of interest. I'm glad they find me a person of interest as long as I’m not a suspect,” Williams said. “I know my hands have never touched ballots in any of the campaigns I've worked for. That is not the way I run campaigns or am involved in campaigns."

On the tape, Barrientos described an elections worker who would give information in exchange for cash.

“He was like man, for $100, $200, $300, he'll hand you ballots or signal zip codes to you,” Williams said.

Barrientos said he was only trying to expose a problem.

Williams says he made the recording for the good of his District 6 community.

“We, as minorities, have fought very hard for that right to vote,” he said.

Everyone who received mail-in ballots for the May 6 election will receive those ballots for the runoff elections except the voters who filed complaints about their ballots.