Pct. 3 Constable candidate facing election charges
Tyron Davis, the Democratic candidate for Ellis County Constable Precinct 3, was arrested Monday by law enforcement for possibly violating the Texas Election Code.
Davis has been charged with a misdemeanor for failing to sign mail-in ballot applications by a witness or an assisting applicant. The Ellis District Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation after Ellis County elections administrator Jana Onyon alerted officials.
On April 28, Onyon contacted Chief Investigator Jeff Ward of the Ellis County and District Attorney’s Office and reported that two men wearing some type of official seals on their shirts had contacted her at her office and requested to see Davis’ campaign finance reports on April 27, according to the probable cause affidavit.
“Jana Onyon went on to report that on the same day when the staff got ready to process the mail for the day, they came across 18 mail ballot applications and 15 voter registration applications all having similarities,” Ward stated in the affidavit. “Onyon reported that the problem with the applications is that all 18 mail ballot applications were blank in the box 11a section, which is where an assistant/witness must sign if they help the voter fill out the application.”
The affidavit stated Onyon reported that this is a violation of Election Code Section 84.003, which is a Class A misdemeanor if the assistant did not fill out the section. Ward obtained verbal consent from Onyon and took the forms as evidence.
Also on April 28, the County and District Attorney’s Office received a phone call from Onyon advising clerk Eloisa Rios had made a report about giving Davis forms, the affidavit stated.
“Eloisa Rios reported that Tyron Davis had come into the elections office and received voter registration application on several occasions. Eloisa Rios made a report that she advised Tyron Davis personally that he was (to) complete the proper sections regarding witnessing/assisting voter applicants in completing this form to avoid is being a violation of the law.”
Further investigation by Ward found that 15 of the 18 applications were made at Renfro Healthcare Center on Main Street. Two other applications were for residents living on north Aikin Street. A Renfro administrator helped identify Davis, the affidavit stated.
On April 29, interviews at Renfro were also conducted with the applicants. The people making application for a mail in ballot confirmed they had assistance and most identified Davis as the person who assisted them. Several people interviewed did not know what they were signing, the affidavit stated. The residents on Aikin Street and the resident on Ross Street reported the same.
Ellis County District Attorney Patrick Wilson said his office is specifically authorized to conduct investigations into violations of the election code.
“Allegations about criminal conduct were brought to our attention and we promptly investigated the matter. We thought that it was of the utmost importance given the fact that this is an individual that is on a ballot in less than a month’s time,” Wilson said. “We thought that we needed to respond quickly and that is what we have done.”
Wilson said this offense is a class a misdemeanor, which can bring a sentence of up to a year in jail with a $4,000 fine. As of press time, David remained in custody at the Wayne McCollum Detention Center. No bond had been set yet.
Davis is a 1991 graduate of Waxahachie High School and received his peace officer’s certification from Navarro College. He is currently employed at Walgreen’s Distribution Center and also serves as an ordained elder for the Church of God in Christ of Texas, as well as the minister of music for the Mt. Horeb Missionary Baptist Church of Waxahachie, according to his campaign announcement.
It’s unclear at this time whether the arrest will impact will impact his ability to run as a candidate.
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