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Georgia Republican Party vice chair voted illegally, judge rules

The vice chair of the Georgia Republican Party voted illegally nine times while on probation for check forgery, a judge ruled this week.

Brian Pritchard, the first vice chair of the Georgia Republican Party, was ordered Wednesday to pay $5,000 in civil penalties and be “publicly reprimanded” by the State Election Board for his conduct, Administrative Law Judge Lisa Boggs said in a ruling shared with The Hill.

Pritchard, the host of a conservative talk show and owner of fetchyournews.com, was put on probation after pleading guilty to check forgery charges in 1996 in Pennsylvania.

The probation was initially set for three years, but was repeatedly extended until 2011 because Pritchard allegedly failed to pay restitutions, per court documents cited by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It also reported that Pritchard has maintained he didn’t owe any money.

When Pritchard registered with the Gilmer County Board of Elections in 2008, he signed a form that stated, “I SWEAR OR AFFIRM THAT … I am not serving a sentence for having been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude,” court documents stated.

During cross-examination, Pritchard said he was “not aware of anything that would have prevented him from registering to vote,” Boggs stated. Pritchard further claimed he did not believe he had three years remaining on his probation in 2008 and thought his “last involvement with any criminal matter from Pennsylvania” was from his 1999 court proceedings.

Court documents showed Pritchard cast ballots in four Georgia primary and general elections in 2008 and five other special, primary and general elections in the state in 2010 — all while still on probation in Pennsylvania.

“I felt it ended. Do you think the first time I voted I said, ‘Oh, I got away with it. Let’s do it eight more times?’” Pritchard said after the court hearing, according to the Journal-Constitution.

Prosecutors with Georgia’s State Election Board pushed back on this argument and told the judge last month Pritchard was “aware” he was registered to vote illegally, per the Journal-Constitution.

Boggs sided with the State Election Board, writing in her 25-page ruling, “the Court does not find the Respondent’s explanations credible or convincing.”

“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,” she wrote.

Pritchard, in a statement shared with The Hill, maintained his innocence, calling the allegations “false attacks.”

“I have not been found guilty of anything…. I will continue my grassroots work every day and will not buckle to false attacks!” he wrote Thursday.

Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) called for Pritchard’s resignation Thursday, calling the Republican Party “the party of election integrity.”

“At a time when the Georgia Republican Party is successfully building its effort to protect our state from a total Democrat takeover, it is unacceptable for our party to have a man in leadership who has repeatedly committed voter fraud himself,” Greene wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “Brian Pritchard must resign immediately or be removed from office.”

Pritchard has repeatedly expressed false claims the election was stolen from former President Trump in 2020, and in his biography for his bid for first vice chair, he said he hoped to “improve election integrity.”

The Hill reached out to Pritchard and the Georgia Republican Party for comment.

Responding to the allegations in 2022, Pritchard claimed the accusations of illegal voting was an attempt to “manipulate an election.”

Updated at 10:31 pm EST.

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