Voter investigation closes in Arkansas township
SHADY GROVE, Ark. (AP) — A local prosecutor says no one will be charged following a state investigation into potential voter fraud in northeast Arkansas’ Shady Grove township.
The case stems from a local spike in the number of registered voters just weeks before a 2016 vote on alcohol sales, The Jonesboro Sun reported. The election resulted in beer and wine sales remaining legal in the township.
Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington requested an Arkansas State Police investigation following allegations that fraudulent addresses were being used in the township. At the time, Ellington said it didn’t strike him as a coincidence that the township’s population has increased by 45 percent at the same time the wet-dry issue was being considered.
“As part of the investigation, I issued 21 subpoenas and had people appear for questioning by our office with the assistance of (Arkansas State Police) Special Agent Joe Pickett,” Ellington said. “We were unable to obtain any additional information to bolster grounds for filing charges.
Ellington said he believes there is enough evidence to charge individuals but not enough to obtain convictions. He said that instead of filing charges, he sent warning letters to several people suspected of using a fraudulent address.
“If you continue this type of conduct, you risk being charged with a crime,” the letter states. “If this happens again, you may face those charges because you have been warned.”
Under Arkansas law, someone who knowingly submits fraudulent information for voter registration could be fined $10,000 and serve up to 10 years in prison.
Information from: The Jonesboro Sun, http://www.jonesborosun.com