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Alabama lawmaker arrested on voter fraud charge

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama legislator was arrested Tuesday on felony voter fraud charges accusing him of voting in a district where he did not live.

Republican Rep. David Cole of Huntsville was arrested on charges of voting in an unauthorized location, according to Madison County Jail records. The details of the charge were not immediately available in court records, but the arrest comes after accusations that Cole did not live in the district in which he was elected.

Cole, a doctor and Army veteran, was elected to the House of Representatives last year.

Voter fraud is a Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The Alabama attorney general's office is prosecuting the case against Cole, a spokeswoman confirmed.

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House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter issued a statement Tuesday saying he had learned of Cole's arrest and is waiting to learn 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.

Elijah Boyd, the Libertarian candidate in the district, had filed an election challenge in civil court, arguing Cole did not live in District 10 and was not eligible to represent the district.

Court records were not immediately available to show if Cole has an attorney to speak on his behalf. His attorney in the election challenge is not representing him in the criminal case. Cole was released on bond, according to jail records.