2017-11-01 / Front Page

Travis Wimbush gift card offer sparks voter fraud investigation

The News learned Monday that the Secretary of State’s office has opened investigation into a potential election law violation by city council candidate Travis Wimbush.

Wimbush posted on Facebook last week that anyone who voted on that day would be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card. The post continued, saying “Vote Travis Wimbush City Council District 2 Post 1.”

The post has since been removed from Wimbush’s Facebook page.

An investigator with the Secretary of State’s office refused to discuss the case. As of now, Travis Wimbush’s name is still on the ballot.

However, under the law, it’s illegal to offer money or gifts in exchange for voting.

The law states that “any person who gives or receives, offers to give or receive, or participates in the giving and receiving of money or gifts for the purpose of registering as a voter, voting or voting for a particular candidate in any primary election shall be guilty of a felony.”

The Secretary of State’s Investigations Division has the responsibility of conducting preliminary fact-finding when it learns about a potential election law violation and, if warranted, open a formal investigation.

Ultimately investigators present their findings to the State Election Board, which decides whether to dismiss the case, issue a letter of instruction or bind the case over to the Attorney General’s office.

The News was unable to determine whether a determination in the case would be made by investigators and the State Election Board before or after next week’s election.

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