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Georgia GOP Official Found Guilty of Illegal Voting Amid Election Integrity Assertions

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Image credit: The News Observer

Georgia Republican Party official Brian Pritchard has been convicted of illegally voting nine times, sparking controversy and calls for resignation from within the GOP ranks.

The verdict, delivered by Administrative Law Judge Lisa Boggs on Wednesday, found Pritchard, the Georgia GOP’s first vice chairman, in violation of state election laws for voting while on probation for forgery and other felonies. Boggs emphasized that Pritchard’s explanations for his actions lacked credibility and conviction.

As a result of the ruling, Pritchard faces a $5,000 fine and $375.14 in investigative costs. Furthermore, Boggs ordered that Pritchard be publicly reprimanded by the State Election Board, which pursued sanctions against him.

The decision prompted Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to call for Pritchard’s immediate resignation or removal from his position within the Georgia GOP. Greene highlighted Pritchard’s nine illegal votes while serving out his probation for felony check forgery, stressing the importance of election integrity within the Republican Party.

Pritchard’s legal troubles stem from his outspoken assertions of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election, echoing former President Donald Trump’s claims. Despite investigations finding no evidence of widespread fraud, Pritchard maintained his stance on the alleged theft of the election.

Judge Boggs’ ruling shed light on Pritchard’s criminal history, revealing a 1996 conviction for felony fraud and theft related to forged checks amounting to $38,000. According to court records, Pritchard’s probation extended until 2011, rendering him ineligible to vote during that period.

Despite his probation status, Pritchard registered to vote in 2008 and participated in nine elections until 2010. During an evidentiary hearing, Pritchard argued that he was unaware of his felon status when registering and voting in Georgia. However, Judge Boggs dismissed his explanations, emphasizing his prior business experience and understanding of legal proceedings.

The $5,000 fine imposed on Pritchard includes penalties for each illegal vote cast and an additional fine for unlawfully registering to vote in 2008. Pritchard has the option to appeal the decision, though neither he nor his attorney, George Weaver Jr., have commented on the verdict.

Pritchard’s voting record became a focal point in December 2022 when he qualified to run in a special election for a state House seat. Despite facing scrutiny, Pritchard maintained his innocence, asserting that his rights had been restored following the completion of his sentence.

The irony of Pritchard’s situation has not been lost on observers, including former Georgia GOP official Jason Shepherd. Shepherd highlighted the contradiction between Pritchard’s allegations of election fraud and his own legal troubles, describing him as a purveyor of conspiracy theories despite being investigated for voter fraud himself.

Calls for Pritchard’s resignation within the Georgia GOP have intensified, with critics questioning his credibility and integrity. As the party grapples with internal divisions, Pritchard’s case underscores the challenges of maintaining public trust in the electoral process amidst allegations of misconduct.

In light of the verdict, the Georgia Republican Party faces a critical juncture in addressing Pritchard’s role within its ranks and upholding its commitment to election integrity.

As reported by USA Today in their recent article  

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