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Voter Fraud Alleged in Brooks County

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into possible voter fraud in Brooks County.

"The issue is the absentee ballots," said Claude Butler, the County Commissioner for District Three, who lost to Willie Cody by 247 votes. Pre-absentee count, he was in the lead by 111 votes. "They have gone rampant here in our county. And it's unethical and it's unconstitutional."

Two other incumbents were leading by wide margins until the absentee ballots came in.

Myra Exum, faced Linda Troutman for the Board of Education District 4 seat.

And Gary Rentz went up against Elizabeth Thomas for the Board of Education At-Large position.

The results significantly swung the outcome of these three, local races.

So, how do surrounding counties absentee ballots stack up?

Thomas County received 119 absentee ballots and mailed out 202.

Lowndes County got back 169 and sent out 439.

But in Brooks County, 1,060 absentee votes were tallied and 1,403 were mailed.

A source tells WCTV that an add-on to delay certification of the election was proposed for today's County Commission meeting, which began at 9 a.m. and wrapped up rather quickly.

But the county attorneys advised against it.

And the elections supervisor has no comment.

"It ought to be just for people that are really outta town or absent or that can't come," said Gerry Folsom, a concerned Brooks County resident. "And there ought to be some way of substantiating these people are who they say they are."

Nadine Proctor, 64, believes the election is fair.

She wants to make sure her vote counts.

"I feel that my voters' rights has been violated," said Proctor, who mailed an absentee ballot this election. "Not only as a minority of black. I feel that the people has to be maintained to understand the difference between an absentee ballot and direct voting."

As of this afternoon, Brooks County's Probate Court Judge certified the election.

But anyone with a grievance can file a complaint about the outcome.

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The Secretary of State's Office said they investigated an elections case in Pavo from 2005, which is now closed.

But, they say, there's an open investigation regarding an elections case in Brooks County from last year.


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