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Rep. David Cole arrested for voting violations

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Rep. David Cole, R-Huntsville, was arrested Tuesday on charges that he voted in a district he did not live in during the 2022 election in which he was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives.

Cole’s residency had been in question since before the November election and had been the subject of both a party and court challenge.

Information from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office shows that Cole was booked at 3:04 p.m. Tuesday for “FRAUD – VOTING AT  MULTIPLE OR UNAUTHORIZED LOCATIONS.”

Alabama Daily News has reached out to Cole.

A spokesman for the sheriff’s office said Cole’s case was investigated and handled by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and referred questions there.

The AG’s office on Tuesday afternoon would only confirm its involvement and could not offer details.

Alabama law makes it a Class C felony to knowingly vote at a polling location where one has not been authorized to vote. Class C felonies are punishable by one to 10 years in prison and fines as high as $15,000. If convicted, Cole would automatically lose his seat in the Legislature.

Alabama House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, confirmed Tuesday afternoon he was aware of Cole’s arrest for voting in an authorized location and was awaiting more details

“In recent years, the Alabama House has prioritized legislation that promotes election integrity, and we believe that any allegation of fraud must be addressed regardless of the party, public official, or candidate involved,” Ledbetter said. “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.”

This past session, House Republicans pushed House Bill 209, which sought to crack down on ballot harvesting by making it a felony under certain circumstances for an individual to assist another person with a ballot application, with exceptions for family members and the disabled. The bill, which Cole voted for, passed the House but died in the Senate.

The Alabama Republican Party could not be reached for comment late Tuesday afternoon.

A freshman lawmaker, Cole is a retired Army physician who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and is the medical director of Occupational Health Group in Huntsville. He previously told Alabama Daily News he ran on a platform of “table issues,” including improving schools and infrastructure.




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