An Alabama lawmaker has been arrested on a charge of felony voter fraud.
Republican State Rep. David Cole of Madison was arrested Tuesday and is charged with fraudulently voting at multiple or unauthorized locations, Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office confirmed.
Neither Cole nor his office immediately returned messages seeking comment Wednesday.
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Ten years in prison and a $15K fine
Attorney general spokeswoman Amanda Priest told USA TODAY that she could not release additional details about the case, including the district where Cole is accused of fraudulently voting.
Under Alabama state law, Cole faces up to 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine if convicted of the crime.
Cole, whose website says he is an Army veteran who served as a physician in Afghanistan and Iraq for more than two decades, was elected to the Legislature last November. He represents District 10, which includes nearly 50,000 residents.
Cole also serves as the medical director of Occupational Health Group in Huntsville, according to the company’s website.
Priest said the attorney general is prosecuting the case.
A legal challenge
In July, AL.com reported learning that Cole lives in District 4 even though he represents the 10th district.
Cole defeated opponents Democrat Marilyn Lands and Libertarian Elijah Boyd, who later challenged Cole’s victory in the local circuit court, according to the Alabama Political Reporter.
The case later made its way to the Alabama Supreme Court. In May, court records show, the high court ruled it was up to legislators to determine whether Cole was qualified to hold the office, according to both media outlets.
“The Legislature completed its regular session and a subsequent special session without taking action on Cole’s qualification for office,” Al.com reported Tuesday.
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House speaker’s office: ‘Waiting to learn more details’
The office of Alabama House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, on Wednesday confirmed to USA TODAY that he was aware of Cole’s arrest.
“As this is an ongoing investigation, we are still waiting to learn more details as they become available,” Ledbetter said in a statement. “We believe that any allegation of fraud must be addressed regardless of the party, public official, or candidate involved.
“Alabamians may remain confident that their elections are conducted honestly, their votes are cast and counted fairly, and their ballot boxes are secure,” he said.
Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior correspondent for USA TODAY. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter @nataliealund.