GOP state lawmaker arrested in Alabama on felony voter fraud charges

Alabama state Rep. David Cole (R) on Tuesday was arrested and charged with voter fraud, accusing the lawmaker of voting in “multiple or unauthorized locations,” according to jail records provided by Madison County Sheriff’s Office. 

According to the sheriff’s records, Cole was booked on Tuesday afternoon and released on bail amounting to $2,500. The charge is a Class C felony, meaning conviction could result in up to 10 years in prison., a local news outlet, said Attorney Gen. Steve Marshall’s office confirmed he was prosecuting the case.

Additional details of the charges were not immediately available in court records. However, the arrest comes after increased scrutiny over Cole’s primary residence.

Cole was elected to represent District 10 in the Alabama legislature, but local reports claimed Cole actually lived in District 4, which would violate state law. Libertarian candidate Elijah Boyd challenged the election results in court.

In a deposition in May, according to reports, Cole sat for more than two hours answering questions that centered on whether or not Cole truly lived at the District 10 home listed as his residence. 

During the deposition, he said he could not remember whether he had moved any personal property into the home. He also said he could not recall whether he had ever slept at the home overnight and said he could not recall ever eating a meal at the home or bathing there. 

Alabama House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter (R) issued a statement Tuesday, according to multiple reports, and said the investigation was ongoing and he was waiting for more details to emerge. He stressed the importance of election integrity. 

“In recent years, the Alabama House has prioritized legislation that promotes election integrity, and we believe that any allegation of fraud must be addressed regardless of the party, public official, or candidate involved,” the statement read.

“Alabamians may remain confident that their elections are conducted honestly, their votes are cast and counted fairly, and their ballot boxes are secure. Now, it is up to a court of law to determine the validity of the allegations Cole is facing, and I anticipate Alabama’s election laws will withstand their true intent,” Ledbetter continued.

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