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Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester demanded state election officials remove state House candidate Charles Williamson from the ballot in light of evidence showing that Williamson submitted fraudulent information on his official nominating petition.
“For the past year, the Republicans have claimed they ‘want to protect the ballot box from voter fraud.’ They now have a chance to do the right thing and demand that Williamson be removed from the ballot based on the extensive evidence showing that he put a false address on his nominating petition, apparently thinking that living in the district he seeks to represent would help him politically,” Forrester said. “Adding insult to injury, Mr. Williamson has voted in the precinct where he apparently does not live.”
The evidence that Williamson does not in fact live in the address is extensively documented:
1. Mr. Williamson has been repeatedly observed coming and going from his real residence, a $1.1 million mansion at 1108 Safety Harbor Road in the House District he ran for in 2010.
2. The barn, where he claimed to live, is not fit for human habitation, according to Metro Codes.
3. The Metro Health Department is on record stating that the barn “is not to contain rooms used as a living unit.”
4. Electrical bills show that while he was claiming to live in the barn in 50th District his electric bill at his real home was well over twice the bill for lights at his barn.
“It’s a serious matter to knowingly make a false statement to election officials and knowingly register to vote in a district where you don’t live,” Forrester said. “There should be consequences for fraud, and that is why I am calling on the state elections coordinator to make a full investigation and, assuming he confirms the evidence that Mr. Williamson filed a petition with a false address, strike Mr. Williamson’s name from the ballot.”
Gerard Stranch, General Counsel for the Tennessee Democratic Party, confirmed that “filing false entries on official registration or election documents” is a Class D Felony, as is “Illegal registration or voting.”
The Tennessee Attorney General has confirmed that the State Election Coordinator has the power to reject a ballot that contains the names of persons known to be unqualified.” The Courts also have the power to remove the name of a nominee from the ballot.
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