January 29, 2023

FRAUD! GOP Georgia House candidate caught up in voter fraud scandal

Georgia House candidate caught up in voter fraud scandal

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Brian Pritchard — a Republican talk show host and candidate for Georgia House —  broke a state law against voting by people convicted of a felony.

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The North Georgia conservative was on probation for felony forgery and theft when he illegally voted at least nine times while still serving his sentence.

“I’ve not done anything wrong here,” Pritchard claimed – but state law says otherwise.

Pritchard is nonetheless running in a special election to fill the seat left vacant by former Georgia House Speaker David Ralston who passed away in November, where he faces the deceased former representative’s widow, Sheree Ralston, for the open seat.

In 1996, the election-denying wannabe politician pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery and one count of theft by failure to make a required disposition of funds – all felonies – in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County.

Pritchard agreed to $33,000 in restitution and to serve probation as part of his sentence.

Georgia State Election Board maintains his innocence, asserting that “his sentence ended long ago and his rights had been restored,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

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Over a decade after his plea deal, Pritchard registered to vote in the state of Georgia, illegally casting his ballot in multiple elections before the official end of his sentence in  2011.

The radio host propagated the big lie on his show, claiming the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump and criticizing the state’s Republican leadership for being what the conspiracy theorist said is “complicit,” in certifying then President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Peachtree State.

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“I do not believe that 81 million people voted for this guy,” Pritchard said on his show.

This comes amid claims by the convicted felon that he was “unaware” that he was considered a felon when he registered.  Georgia State Election Board member Matt Mashburn pushed back on Pritchard’s claims, however.

“The system is not set up for people to do whatever they want and us to catch them,” Mashburn said. “It’s for people to abide by the law.

Because Pritchard was convicted before his bid for office, he’s still eligible to run – but he’s got to beat Ralston’s widow first. The executive director of the Fannin County Development Authority is a local hero who advocated for mental healthcare and addiction treatment programs.

Ralston campaign spokeswoman, Jen Talaber Ryan, stands by her candidate saying, “Sheree Ralston brings dignity and integrity to this campaign and would serve her constituents with the utmost honesty and respect.”

But the widow has MAGA roots.

The month before Congressman Ralston’s death, he campaigned for Walker.

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Pritchard’s voting indiscretions are another reminder that what the GOP says —  and what it means — are two different things.

Accusations continue to be confessions in the MAGA world – this is just par for the Republican hypocrisy course.

Original reporting by Mark Niesse at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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