MILTON, Ga. – The Secretary of State’s Office announced Nov. 3 it has initiated a formal investigation into an allegation of vote-buying in the City of Milton.
“Because it is an ongoing investigation, I cannot discuss any further details at this time,” said Candice Broce, press secretary to the Secretary of State’s Office.
She did say the question of vote-buying grew out of a Facebook post that appeared last week – and was subsequently taken down – that asked early voters to post photos of themselves with the political signs of candidates Mayor Joe Lockwood, Laura Bentley or Peyton Jamison.
Those posts of support would earn participants entries into a lottery for free restaurant meals up to $30.
Who is behind the We Call Milton Home Facebook page is not known at this time. Broce said she could not comment on any aspect of the investigation, nor when it would start or end.
If the investigation does produce evidence that appears to be a violation of the election code, the results would be handed over to the State Elections Board for a final determination.
Broce said the board has a number of options. It could decide to dismiss the case or issue a letter of instruction, which explains what law or rule was violated and orders the respondent from committing additional violations.
If deemed serious enough the board could turn the case over to the Attorney General’s Office or the case can also be referred to the local district attorney’s office for prosecution.