Candidate for Georgia House seat denies allegations of illegal voting

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 11:45 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - On Monday, three candidates qualified to run in a special election for the House, District 7 seat.

The special election, to be held January 3, was called when former Speaker of the House, Rep. David Ralston, died in mid-November.

The elected lawmaker represents Fannin, Gilmer, and Dawson counties in north Georgia.

RELATED: What to know ahead of Georgia’s Senate runoff on Tuesday.

Among those who qualified to fill his seat were his wife, Sheree Ralston, Justin Heitman, and Brian Pritchard.

Pritchard faces allegations of illegally voting in nine different elections from 2008 to 2010 while serving a felony sentence for forgery charges in Pennsylvania.

“Mr. Pritchard is a respondent in a case referred to our office by the State Election Board (SEB) in Feb. 2021. That case is open, and we recently requested that a hearing be scheduled by the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH),” said a spokesperson for the Georgia Attorney General’s Office.

Atlanta News First acquired the case on Monday.

“On or about January 29, 2008, Pritchard registered to vote in Gilmer County, Georgia, while he was under felony sentence in Pennsylvania,” said a hearing filing from the State Elections Board vs. Brian Keith Pritchard.

“Pritchard’s registration violated the constitutional proscription that “[n]o person who has been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude may register, remain registered, or vote except upon completion of the sentence,” stated in the hearing documents.

On Monday, he denied the allegations, in an interview with Atlanta News First.

“They’re not true. They’re not true,” said Pritchard.

Pritchard challenged the timing of the state questioning his eligibility.

“Why on Friday, the day before qualifying, was that supposed to intimidate me. Now they’ll say, no not at all. Bull. Bull. It was supposed to intimidate me not to go down there today,” said Pritchard.

According to the hearing filing, Pritchard voted in four elections in 2008 and five elections in 2010.

Candidates have until Wednesday to qualify for this House race.

The special election will run on January 3. A run-off, if needed, will be held on January 31.