Details on voter fraud

Published 5:18 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2015

AMERICUS — The cases of two local individuals cited for voter fraud in the November 2013 Americus City Council election were bound over to the state Attorney General’s (AG) Office for civil prosecution late last week after a meeting of the state Board of Elections. They are Edith Green and her daughter Lashonda Williams, both of Americus.

Chris Harvey, chief investigator, Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, clarified the charges on Tuesday.

Harvey told the Times-Recorder that Green was originally cited for three violations: two dealing with absentee ballot applications for four voters; and the other for assisting a voter and failing to sign as giving assistance. He said the first two were dismissed and the third was sent to the AG’s office.

Harvey said Lashonda Williams was originally cited for improper assistance of a voter, and two counts of unlawful possession of absentee ballots. The law says it not legal for an individual to assist a voter if the person offering assistance has a relative in the ballot. In this case, Williams’ aunt, Shirley Green Reese, was a candidate on the ballot. The citation for failing to sign the absentee ballot envelope when assisting with absentee ballots was dismissed, but the citations for assisting voters while a family member was on the ballot and illegal possession of absentee ballots was sent to the AG Office.

Another local case was also reviewed by the Board, Harvey said. Betty Prince of Americus was cited with signing her handicapped husband’s ballot after he had made his mark on it. Harvey said that was resolved and Prince will receive a letter of instruction exonerating her.

Messages left for Green and Williams were unanswered.