Bodycam Footage Shows Texas Man Admitting to Brazen Cash-for-Ballots Scheme

Bodycam Footage Shows Texas Man Admitting to Brazen Cash-for-Ballots Scheme
Deborah Peoples, Democratic candidate for Fort Worth mayor, attends a gathering in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 5, 2021. Republican Mattie Parker was elected Saturday as the next mayor of Fort Worth, keeping it one of America's few big cities with a GOP mayor. (Yffy Yossifor/Star-Telegram via AP)
Steven Kovac

The race for county judge in Texas's Tarrant County, the state's third largest by population, was rocked last month when allegations of past fraudulent ballot harvesting surfaced against Democratic nominee Deborah Peoples.

Footage from a bodycam worn by a Fort Worth police officer shows a man telling a policeman that Peoples allegedly paid him $200 cash for every fraudulently cast absentee ballot he could deliver in the months before the 2016 presidential election.

The footage of the Jan. 3, 2020, conversation was obtained through a public records request and first appeared in a Gateway Pundit article in mid-September. The Fort Worth Police Department confirmed the video's authenticity to The Epoch Times.

The video shows a nighttime discussion between the officer and a bicyclist he stopped for riding in the wrong direction on a public street.

After identifying the rider as Charles Jackson, the officer realized he was acquainted with Jackson from a previous encounter on the streets of Fort Worth in 2016.

During the first encounter, the homeless Jackson had difficulty explaining why he had $1,000 in cash on his person. Jackson said it had something to do with the election.

At the time, the officer warned him that tampering with elections could have severe consequences and let him go.

Jackson didn't heed the policeman's advice, and sometime after his 2016 brush with law enforcement, he was arrested and charged with providing false information on a voting application.

In the 2020 bodycam video, Jackson says that after his arrest, he was quickly bailed out of jail by a person he knew to be closely affiliated with Peoples.

He also says that the judge imposed a gag order on all parties to the case.

Jackson pleaded guilty in April 2019 in exchange for a lesser sentence.

"They trying to get me for 10 years. ... I didn't know it was that bad. ... It turned out they'd been stealing votes," he tells the policeman in the video.

Despite a record of previous felonies, which made him eligible to serve up to 10 years in prison, Jackson was sentenced to 10 days in jail with credit for 10 days served.

The gag order didn't stop Jackson from telling the policeman who pulled him over in 2020 that he was hired by Peoples, then-chairperson of the Tarrant County Democratic Party.

"I can talk now," Jackson says. "I'm done with it. ... Deborah gave me cash."

Jackson says he was provided with the personal voting registration information of elderly Texans.

His job was to visit them and deceive them into signing absentee ballot documents that he misrepresented as county election forms used to certify that their personal data was correct.

Jackson then voted for all the Democratic candidates listed on the ballots and turned them in for cash.

The victims had no idea what was happening. Many were surprised when they requested an absentee ballot or showed up at the polls on Election Day and were told they had already voted.

In the video, Jackson alleges that Peoples personally paid him in cash for his services.

He says he was also rewarded with a moped and bonuses over the six months he engaged in the ballot harvesting scam—an enterprise that he claims earned him between $900 and $1,200 per week.

Peoples didn't respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

On Sept. 26, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper cited Peoples as saying that Republicans were “disrespecting voters by leaning on false information from an outlet famous for spreading lies to serve an extreme agenda.”

In an Oct. 4 phone interview with The Epoch Times, Timothy O’Hare, Peoples’s Republican opponent, explained that in Tarrant County, the position of county judge is akin to a county executive and carries immense administrative authority.

“It’s like being the mayor of the county. Over 2 million people live here. We are the third-largest county in Texas and the 15th-largest in the United States,” he said.

Commenting on the bodycam video, O’Hare said people should watch it and decide for themselves what to believe.

“If Deborah Peoples participated in an illegal voting operation, she is unfit to hold any public office and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," he said.

“If an investigation into the allegations referenced in the video has not already commenced, one should begin immediately."

Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, a Republican, announced in a Sept. 26 statement that it would be “inappropriate” for the sheriff’s office to investigate allegations of election fraud leveled at Peoples because he had endorsed O’Hare for County Judge.

The Tarrant County district attorney’s office, the office of the Texas attorney general, and the Texas Ranger Division didn't respond by press time to questions from The Epoch Times about any potential or ongoing investigation of Peoples.

According to longtime Texas political consultant Aaron Harris, who said he isn't working for the O'Hare campaign, modern-day election fraud isn't unusual in the Lone Star state, especially in Tarrant County.

He told The Epoch Times that since 2015, the county has been at the forefront of exposing the Democrats' history of ballot harvesting and election fraud and that he was "shocked" when the party made Peoples their nominee for county judge.

"Make no mistake, Deborah Peoples [has long been] at the center of Tarrant County harvesting," he said.

"As the Democrat county chair. ... she operated a 'consulting' service whose specialty was mail-in ballots. Harvesting was her bread and butter."

Harris also stated that, in Texas, Democrats and Republicans had been involved in ballot harvesting schemes.

"Ballot harvesting in local elections is more about grift than ideology," he said.

In 2018, four women were indicted by the Texas attorney general for alleged election fraud in Tarrant County.

The Texas secretary of state announced in 2019 that a cross-check of the state’s voter rolls with its Department of Public Safety records uncovered that 95,000 noncitizens registered to vote, and 58,000 of them voted in one or more Texas elections.

Steven Kovac reports for The Epoch Times from Michigan. He is a general news reporter who has covered topics related to rising consumer prices to election security issues. He can be reached at