Ex-felon GOP candidate busted for voting illegally

Brian K. Pritchard (photo below), 56, presently of Cherry Log, Georgia, pleaded guilty in 1996 to three Pennsylvania felony charges of forgery and theft.

He was still on probation when he registered to vote in Georgia in 2008, which made him ineligible to vote. That didn’t stop him from voting in 9 elections before his probation ended, and he’s now facing possible fines for illegal voting.

It’s not unusual for ex-felons to vote illegally, although this commonly happens unintentionally, as a result of vague laws, confusion, and bad advice from election workers and probation officers. It’s hard to tell from sketchy news stories whether Pritchard’s illegal voting was inadvertent or knowingly. (See story here.)

Still, it’s general public knowledge that ex-felons can’t vote in many states unless they go through a process to have their civil rights restored, and there’s no indication that Pritchard made any effort to ascertain his voting status. He’s not a guy who’s careful about facts or legalities.

Why is Pritchard’s case notable? What makes this ex-felon’s illegal voting stand out from others?

  1. He’s a rightwing podcaster who claims the 2020 election was “stolen” and says he doesn’t believe 81 million people voted for Biden.
  2. He’s a Republican candidate for the Georgia legislature, running to fill the seat of the speaker, who recently died (against the speaker’s widow).

Here’s an election denier whose belief in illegal voting is reinforced by his personal experience. But any statistician will tell you his sample of one isn’t statistically valid to prove a larger pattern of illegal voting. This is merely anecdotal evidence, which doesn’t really prove anything.

Here also is a full panoply GOP election denier characteristics: Extreme carelessness with truth, indifference to facts, and disrespect for the rights of the 81 million-plus Americans who voted for Biden; all of this underlain by bad character and personal dishonesty.

Republican voters don’t care about any of this, or his illegal voting. None of that would keep him from being elected by that bunch. If he loses, it’ll be because they simply like the widow better. If they like her better, it’ll likely be because she’s more extreme than he is.

As we’ve seen time and again, in election after election, Republican voters aren’t deterred by dishonesty or bad character. Often they aren’t better people than those they elect.

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