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Secretary of State's Office Investigating Gordon Election Complaint

GORDON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- The Secretary of State's Office is investigating allegations that "unqualified voters were getting illegal assistance on election day," that's according to a member of its staff, Cody Whitlock.

The complaint the state is investigating came from a Gordon resident, Teresa Lyles.

In it, she wrote, "My husband and I voted last Tuesday in Gordon, Ga. While waiting in line, we observed something we know in our hearts is not morally right."

On that day, November 5th, Lyles told 41NBC she and her husband stood in disbelief as they watched an incoherent woman, who was staring at the ceiling, being dragged into the Gordon City Hall Annex building to cast a ballot.

"When we went back outside there were two vans and you could see the shadows of people, and that's where they came from with the lady I was telling you about," said Lyles.

She admits, at first, she was hesitant to report it.

"When I think about the lady we saw, it's not fair to her," said Lyles.

Another resident reached out to 41NBC on Facebook. She didn't want to go on camera, but she told us over the phone she witnessed the same issues at the polls that Lyles mentioned in her complaint.

Wilkinson County Elections Superintendent, Tracey Strange, spoke with us about the laws regarding mentally disabled voters.

"I have to have something from a judge saying that they are not competent to vote... It's normally done by a judge here. If they come into this county in that condition I don't normally receive it," said Strange.

Strange added, HIPPA laws prohibit her from having that information when people move into the county.

Whether the law allows it or not, Lyles' says there's no doubt in her mind the woman she saw was being taken advantage of.

"If you sit back and you see something that is wrong, and you don't say anything about it, then it'll never be fixed or stopped," said Lyles.

Lyles also shared an e-mail with 41NBC that she received from the Secretary of State's Office in response to her complaint.

It says, "Our office currently has an open investigation into the same allegations you mentioned."

When 41NBC spoke with them Thursday, representatives at the state office would not comment further.

The elections superintendent told 41NBC she has not been contacted by the state, but if she is, she's more than willing to help with the investigation.

 

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