A right-wing talk show host running in a high-profile special election in Georgia allegedly voted illegally nine times while serving probation for felony convictions, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday.
The candidate, Brian K. Pritchard, is running in a Jan. 3 special election to replace former Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston, who died last month shortly after winning re-election. Pritchard is running against Sheree Ralston, the late legislator’s widow, in a safe Republican seat that David Ralston won uncontested last month.
Pritchard, who is now accused of voting illegally, has also falsely claimed the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from former President Donald Trump, and accused Republican state officials of being “complicit,” according to the Journal-Constitution.
When Pritchard first registered to vote in Georgia in January 2008, he was still on probation after he pleaded guilty in 1996 to felony forgery and theft charges in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In Georgia, former felons aren’t allowed to vote until they’ve completed their sentence, which includes probation.
In February 2021, Georgia’s State Election Board accused Pritchard of voting while serving a felony sentence, one of dozens of voter fraud cases referred to prosecutors at the time, according to the Clay County Progress. At the time, Pritchard’s attorney said Pritchard was not aware he was considered a felon when he cast his ballots, according to the Journal-Constitution.
And last week, the office of Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr—one of those officials Pritchard accused of being “complicit” in the “stolen” election, according to the Journal-Constitution—said in a filing that Pritchard had broken the law each time he voted, the Journal-Constitution reported.
Carr’s office said Pritchard voted five times in 2008 and four times in 2010, according to August-based TV station WDRW. Carr’s office has requested a hearing in Fannin County, where Pritchard lives, for the week of Jan. 9, after the special election.
Pritchard could face up to $45,000 in fines, but he hasn’t been criminally charged and he wouldn’t be disqualified from serving in the legislature if he wins the election, according to the Journal-Constitution.
Pritchard has vehemently denied the accusation and appeared to imply he was targeted due to his candidacy. “I’ve not done anything wrong here,” Pritchard, who also owns a media company called FetchYourNews, told the Journal-Constitution Monday. “I guess if you’re apprehending public enemy No. 1, here I am.”
Pritchard said in a press release when he announced his run last week that he “will always support our law enforcement.”
“The safety and well-being of our citizens will alway be a top priority of mine,” Pritchard said in the release. “Keep Atlanta crime out of our mountains!”
These accusations haven’t stopped Pritchard from spreading lies about the 2020 election. Pritchard accused Carr and Gov. Brian Kemp of being “complicit” in a stolen election during an April episode of his web show.
“I don't believe 81 million people voted for [Joe Biden],” Pritchard said at the time. “When they stole an election, and Brian Kemp was complicit, the governor of Georgia, and Chris Carr the attorney general was complicit in Georgia, and you see Joe Biden…this is what they did to us.”
During the same episode, Pritchard said that Biden has dementia and called Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock a “false prophet.”