Alaska lawmaker faces voter misconduct, interference charges | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Alaska lawmaker faces voter misconduct, interference charges

Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson addresses reporters during a news conference Friday, March 13, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. Clarkson announced Republican Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux of Anchorage has been charged with voter misconduct and interference. Two others also face charges in the case. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
March 13, 2020 - 5:56 PM

JUNEAU, Alaska - The state filed charges Friday accusing an Alaska lawmaker of voter misconduct and interference with voting related to elections in 2014 and 2018.

Anchorage Republican Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux said she is innocent.

An investigation into LeDoux began when the Division of Elections reported ballot irregularities in her 2018 primary. Lisa Simpson, described in charging documents as a former LeDoux chief of staff, and Caden Vaught, a son of Simpson, face charges around the 2018 elections.

LeDoux, in a statement, said she learned of the charges Friday. “Because this is a pending legal matter, I cannot comment about the details other than to state that I am innocent of all charges and look forward to clearing my name in a court of law,” she said.

Efforts to reach Simpson by phone and Vaught by email weren't immediately successful. Court records did not list attorneys for them.

LeDoux, amid questions after the 2018 primary, said she has “never looked for ways to manufacture votes.”

“In this day and age of voter verification, that would be absurd,” she said at the time.

A news conference announcing the charges was held in Anchorage while the House was in session in Juneau. LeDoux was at the Capitol Friday.

Deputy Attorney General John Skidmore said the next phase is to convene a grand jury.

Voter records from past elections were reviewed as part of the investigation, and text messages to and from LeDoux and others, including Simpson, were obtained through search warrants, according to documents filed by the Department of Law.

The state accuses LeDoux, Simpson and Vaught of being involved in providing false information on voter registration forms. The charging documents allege that Simpson listed as her address on a voter registration application a building in LeDoux's district that she did not yet own. LeDoux signed the registration form as the registrar, it says.

LeDoux also sent texts to Simpson about getting Vaught registered in her district, according to the documents. Vaught, in voting, listed an address in LeDoux's district at which he told investigators he did not live, the documents state.

LeDoux also is accused of encouraging two others to vote in her district though they told her they no longer lived there.

According to the charging documents, one of the women, despite indicating she did not recall a text exchange with LeDoux, said she believed LeDoux was just telling her so she could vote. The woman did not vote in LeDoux's district in 2014, the documents state.

The other woman said she did not believe text messages obtained by investigators accurately reflected what LeDoux had said.

Prosecutors said data obtained from the phone was not altered or manipulated.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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