Alabama GOP State Rep. David Cole Arrested On Voter Fraud Charges

Alander Rocha, Alabama Reflector

Rep. David Cole, R-Madison, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on a charge of voting at multiple or unauthorized locations.

Cole, elected to the Alabama House of Representatives last year, was listed in the Madison County Detention Center on Tuesday afternoon. An official at the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, who identified herself as Clerk Lancaster, confirmed that Cole was in the center.

The representative, a medical doctor, was being held on a bail bond of $2,500 as of mid-Tuesday afternoon. Voting at multiple or unauthorized locations is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Alabama Political Reporter reported earlier this week that Cole was the target of an Alabama Attorney General’s Office investigation related to residency issues. The report said Cole faces allegations that he does not live in District 10, the House district he represents.

Messages seeking comment were left with the Attorney General’s Office and the Madison County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday afternoon.

Cole, 52, defeated Democratic nominee Marilyn Lands 52% to 45% in November’s election. A Libertarian candidate got about 3% of the vote.

Rep. Fred Plump, D-Fairfield, also elected to his first term last November, pleaded guilty in May to charges of conspiracy and obstruction of and resigned his seat. A special election for the seat is scheduled for next month.

Alabama House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, said in a statement Tuesday that his office was aware of David Cole’s arrest, and they are still waiting to learn more details. The statement said “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. Now, it is up to a court of law to determine the validity of the allegations Cole is facing, and I anticipate Alabama’s election laws will withstand their true intent,” Ledbetter said in the statement.

Alabama Reflector is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Alabama Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Brian Lyman for questions: Follow Alabama Reflector on Facebook and Twitter.

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