June 3, 2013 — A candidate did not present enough evidence of irregularities to overturn a 2012 election that he lost to Baker County Sheriff Dana Meade, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled today. Tim Williamson received about one-third more votes than Meade in the 2012 Democratic primary but lost a runoff by 39 votes. Williamson challenged the results claiming there were irregularities with absentee ballots and votes bought with money or liquor, but the high court said it wouldn’t have changed the outcome even if true.
The State Election Board has fined a former north Georgia prosecutor for absentee-ballot violations, rejecting a judge’s recommendation to drop the charges for lack of evidence. Albert Palmour of Summerville, now an attorney in private practice, was fined $18,000 last week and given a public reprimand for his alleged role in a 2006 election fraud case in Chattooga County.
A dozen people, including a former sheriff, mishandled scores of absentee ballots cast in elections in four Georgia counties in 2008, state elections officials say. Investigators found ballots were requested or marked without voters’ knowledge, voters were assisted who did not need help, and some of the “helpers” covered their tracks by failing to sign paperwork to acknowledge their involvement. In Twiggs County, FBI analysis found fingerprints of former Sheriff Doyle Stone and his son, Greg Stone, on envelopes containing absentee ballots.
A North Georgia judge today acknowledged trying to intimidate prosecutors who were investigating another judge in her circuit for alleged election fraud. Lookout Mountain Superior Court Judge Kristina Cook Connelly Graham received a public reprimand in court today for two unrelated incidents in 2008 and 2009. The reprimand said Graham had admitted her actions.
Cash, alcohol and — gasp! — drugs were used to buy votes on behalf of former Dodge County Sheriff Lawton Douglas in 2004, a federal indictment alleges. Douglas, who served one term and was defeated for re-election last year, and two others will be arraigned Thursday in Dublin on vote-buying charges. He faces up to 30 years in prison.
Georgia’s attorney general will pursue civil charges in an alleged election fraud case involving former Chattooga County State Court judge Carlton Vines. A jury in Summerville couldn’t reach a decision in April on criminal charges that Vines conspired to fix a 2006 election. The State Election Board on Thursday voted to turn over its investigation to the attorney general. Board member Randy Evans has indicated a civil fine of $100,000 is possible.
Fulton County officials admit serious violations of election rules for mishandling thousands of absentee ballots in 2008, attorneys said today. Hundreds of voters may have been disenfranchised because Fulton screwed up requests for mail-in ballots, state investigators found, and vote-counters ignored security and accuracy guidelines. Former judge Norman Underwood: Fulton’s 2008 performance was “unacceptable, unsatisfactory and embarrassing.”
The State Elections Board hasn’t decided an alleged vote-fixing case in Chattooga County yet, but they sure sounded Tuesday like they want to drop the hammer on former State Court Judge Carlton Vines (right). “We’re looking at basically a $100,000 fine,” board member Randy Evans said, drawing a gasp from spectators in the packed room. […]
Fulton County elections officials mishandled thousands of absentee ballot applications last fall and failed to secure voting equipment at several precincts, state investigators say. The State Elections Board voted Tuesday to forward the findings to Attorney General Thurbert Baker’s office, which has opened a case file on the incidents outlined in the investigative report. That […]