Voters anxious to find out what happens next in fraud case - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Voters anxious to find out what happens next in fraud case

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

QUITMAN, GA (WALB) –Some Brooks County voters are anxious to find out what's next for three Brooks County school board members accused of voter fraud.

The governor has the power to appoint an ethics panel that could recommend the members be suspended, but that can't happen until or unless they're indicted.

The D.A. says he'll have to review the report after the GBI completes and sends it to him before he decides when to take the case to the grand jury.

The officials were among ten people arrested accused of illegally distributing and returning absentee ballots for voters.

Elections superintendent Joanne Collins tells us Linda Troutman and Elizabeth Thomas who were both elected to the Brooks County School Board were sworn in last week. After the arrests Tuesday, many are wondering if they'll get to keep their seats. 

The women were arrested along a school board member Nancy Dennard and seven others. Charges include violating procedures for voting absentee and unlawful possession of ballots.

"If it comes out they did it they need to be punished like anybody else," said Brooks County voter J.P. Azevedo.

Some voters hope the charges won't affect the board members service.

"If they won the votes it just needs to be a done deal," said Brooks County voter Dorothy Boatman.

"That's right they've won three times and they might as well just let it go," said Reomeka Cason-Johnson.

But the 979 absentee ballots cast in the July primary raised concerns. That's an unusually high number of absentees.

"All those write in votes from Brooks County all those other counties didn't have near what we did," says Azevedo. "It kind of throws a red flag."

Supporters of those arrested are having a rally Wednesday at the Bethel AME church here in Quitman.

And as the investigation continues, we'll keep you updated.

We'll have a reporter at that rally Wednesday at 7 p.m.

We'll have a wrap up Wednesday night at 11.

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