Georgia Republican official and outspoken election denier caught voting illegally 9 times

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A judge has found Georgia Republican Party official Brian Pritchard guilty of illegally voting nine times over several years. Pritchard has falsely asserted Democrats had stolen the 2020 election through fraud.

Administrative Law Judge Lisa Boggs wrote in her Wednesday decision that Pritchard, the Georgia GOP’s first vice chairman, violated state election laws by voting while on probation for forgery and other felonies, and that his explanations were neither "credible or convincing."

Pritchard must pay a $5,000 fine and $375.14 in investigative costs incurred by the court. Boggs also ordered that Pritchard “be publicly reprimanded for his conduct” by the State Election Board, which sought the sanctions against him.

On Thursday, Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called on Pritchard to “resign immediately or be removed” from his Georgia GOP position because he “voted ILLEGALLY nine times while serving out his probation for FELONY check forgery.”

“The Republican Party is the party of election integrity,” Greene said on X, formerly Twitter, and “our state party should be the leading voice on securing our elections.”

Forged checks, and claims of a stolen election

Pritchard, a conservative talk show host, has claimed on his show that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent, echoing claims by former President Donald Trump, who lost in the Peach State and nationwide to Democrat Joe Biden. Trump and 14 co-defendants are currently facing charges of illegally conspiring to overturn the result in Georgia, while four co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. President Donald Trump, gestures while speaking during the 2024 NRB International Christian Media Convention Presidential Forum on February 22, 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. President Donald Trump, gestures while speaking during the 2024 NRB International Christian Media Convention Presidential Forum on February 22, 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Investigations consistently have found no evidence of mass fraud in 2020. But in her 25-page ruling, Boggs found that Pritchard committed voter fraud himself.

Boggs cited certified records from an Allegheny County, Pennsylvania court, which showed Pritchard pleaded guilty in 1996 to felony fraud and theft involving $38,000 in forged checks relating to a construction project and that he was ordered to pay that same amount in restitution. Felons in Georgia lose their right to vote until they complete probation or parole.

Evidence presented in court by two senior officials of the state attorney general’s office indicated Pritchard’s probation had been extended until 2011, but he registered to vote in 2008 and voted in nine elections between then and 2010.

Pritchard testified at an evidentiary hearing in February that he didn’t knowingly commit fraud and that he believed his status as a felon who is ineligible to vote had ended more than two decades ago. He also said he believed his criminal sentence had been converted to a civil judgment, according to a copy of Boggs’ decision.

In an earlier proceeding before the State Election Board, which referred Pritchard’s case to the Georgia attorney general’s office for investigation, his attorney said Pritchard was unaware he was considered a felon when he registered and voted in Georgia.

'He should have known'

The judge found Pritchard's explanations to be lacking in credibility, noting that “to accept that the Respondent’s grasp of legal proceedings was so unsophisticated that he did not understand the basic terms of his probation in 1996 … this Court would need to disregard (Pritchard’s) self-described experience as a businessman handling complex projects as well as million-dollar contracts and budgets.”

“Based on the above, and upon careful consideration of the evidence in its totality the Court does not find the explanations credible or convincing,” Boggs wrote. “At the very least, even if the Court accepts he did not know about his felony sentences, the record before this Court demonstrates that he should have known.”

Pritchard's fine includes $500 for each of the nine times he voted illegally and another $500 for illegally registering to vote in 2008. He can appeal the decision.

Neither Pritchard nor his lawyer, George Weaver Jr. could be reached for immediate comment.

‘I’ve not done anything wrong here’

Pritchard was defiant about his voting record back in December 2022 when he qualified to run in a special election for the state House seat previously held by Speaker David Ralston, who had died the previous month.

“I’ve not done anything wrong here,” Pritchard said at the time, asserting that his sentence had ended long ago and his rights had been restored, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. “I guess if you’re apprehending public enemy No. 1, here I am.”

Pritchard has said on his show that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen,” the Atlanta newspaper wrote. It said he also had criticized Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Republican Attorney General Chris Carr for being “complicit” in Biden’s victory in Georgia.

“I do not believe that 81 million people voted for this guy,” Pritchard said on his show.

Jason Shepherd, a former vice chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, told USA TODAY that the judge's decision is ironic given Pritchard's constant claims of election fraud.

Pritchard, he said, "has rapidly risen in the ranks of the Georgia Republican Party and has built a media empire of literally tens of dozens of followers by spouting conspiracy theories about stolen elections and rampant voter fraud from thousands of illegal voters, despite being investigated himself for illegally voting."

Shephard, who writes the Peach Pundit political column, said the accusations of Pritchard's voter fraud "have been well known long before he became the second highest officer in the Georgia Republican Party."

"He should have never been elected and he has now needs to go...and sooner rather than later," Shephard said. "If (Georgia GOP) Chairman Josh McKoon doesn't have a resignation by the end of the day, I don't see how anyone can take the Georgia Republican Party seriously."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Georgia GOP's Brian Pritchard illegally voted 9 times, judge says