SAN ANTONIO – Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (search) on Tuesday alleged that more than 100 ineligible voters cast ballots in the Democratic congressional primary, allowing challenger Henry Cuellar (search) to take the lead during a recount.
In an amendment to a lawsuit he filed April 14, Rodriguez claimed some people were registered at addresses where they didn't live, and others were listed at addresses of abandoned houses, vacant lots or places that didn't exist.
He said in some cases, people who didn't vote were shown to have cast ballots, while others gave false information to election officials so they could vote.
No specific names or addresses were named.
In the original filing, the congressman from San Antonio suggested vote fraud occurred, saying there was no reasonable way to explain how more than 400 new votes appeared in two counties during the recount in late March.
Cuellar received the vast majority of the new ballots, enabling him to go from trailing Rodriguez by 150 votes to leading him by 203 votes out of more than 48,000 cast.
Lawyer Buck Wood, representing Rodriguez, said his investigation has turned up more than 100 improper voters in Webb County alone.
"I could have thrown 500 votes out there today, but I suspect some of those would have checked out and I don't want to accuse people of illegal voting when it turns out there's a reasonable explanation," Wood said. "We do have enough voters to change the outcome of the election."
Cuellar spokesman T.J. Connally said the Rodriguez camp continues to be vague on the details because its case is flimsy.
"Time and again since the day the recount concluded, it's been a new allegation, a new false and misleading statement," he said. "They have not provided one single name or one single address."
Connally said the Cuellar legal team planned to file its answer to the amended lawsuit Wednesday. A Thursday pretrial hearing is scheduled.
The lawsuit asks the court to declare Rodriguez the winner of the March 9 primary or to order a new election in the 28th Congressional District, which runs through 11 counties from San Marcos to Laredo.