The DeKalb County Election Commission is investigating allegations of illegal practices by persons engaging in voter intimidation, procuring votes, violations of the boundary line and other prohibited actions related to elections and voting.
In a prepared news release, the election commission asks that "anyone with knowledge of voter fraud to contact the Election Commission at 597-4146 or stop by the office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday."
The commission, in the news release, states that ‘"the election laws are quite specific about what is allowed and which practices are illegal. Unfortunately some people have been "playing the dirty political game" for many years and seem to believe they have the knowledge to circumvent the law or believe themselves to be above the law. "
"In accordance with T.C.A. 2-7-111 there is a 100 ft campaign free zone established at the polling place. Within the boundary there may be no display of campaign posters, signs or other campaign materials, distribution of campaign materials or solicitation of votes. T.C.A. 2-19-119 specifies that a person is committing a misdemeanor by violating 2-7-111 while boundary signs are posted during voting hours."
"T.C.A. 2-19-115(3)-It is illegal for any person directly or indirectly, personally or through any other person to practice intimidation upon or against any person in order to compel such person to vote or refrain from voting. If someone comes to your residence and refuses to leave until you sign an application for voting or to receive an absentee ballot, they are breaking the law."
"A person is allowed to assist a person to vote, with the person's permission. T.C.A. 2-19-110 states the person giving assistance should not abuse this assistance and should not cast any vote contrary to that voter's wish."
"It is illegal for any candidate to bargain for support according to T.C.A. 2-19-121. That person may not pay, promise or agree to enter into any contract with any person to vote for or support any particular policy or measure. Likewise T.C.A. 2-19-122 states it is unlawful for any person to demand that any candidate shall promise or agree in advance to support any individual policy or measure in consideration of the vote or support, financial or moral, of such person in any election."
" T.C.A. 2-19-126 states it is illegal for any person directly or indirectly, personally or through another person to induce voters to vote or refrain from voting by paying, loaning or contributing anything of value, or to offer or promise any place, office or employment in order to induce someone to vote or refrain from voting."
"It is illegal for anyone to accept any money, gift, loan or other valuable thing, T.C.A. 2-19-127. This includes food, money, alcohol or anything of value. Trading goods or services to induce someone to vote is also a violation."
"However, 2-19-137 exempts those from prosecution who testify against other persons violating these statutes, except for perjury."
"If a person has received compensation for voting and tells the truth they will not be liable to indictment, prosecution or punishment for the offense with reference to which such testimony was given."
"Elections are the cornerstone of democracy. It has been said that elections are the great equalizer. All votes are counted the same. It does not matter whether you are old or young, male or female, black or white, rich or poor, all votes are equal. The commission asks that if you have been a party to or witnessed voting irregularities or violations of the voting laws to please contact the DeKalb County Election Commission office and speak with the Administrator of Elections, Mrs. Lisa Peterson. The office is located in Room 104 in the basement of the Courthouse The phone number is 597-4146 and the fax number is 597-7799."