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Alabama Republican is planning to plead guilty to voter fraud

According to a plea deal, state Rep. David Cole used a fraudulent address while running for office. Local GOPers ignored it, and now he’s facing 60 days in jail.


A Republican lawmaker in Alabama plans to plead guilty to felony voter fraud and resign his seat. According to a plea deal filed Thursday, he will serve 60 days in jail.

It appears that election laws are but a formality to Alabama Republicans, many of whom have accused Democrats of enabling and ignoring voter fraud despite the Alabama GOP’s repeated suspect behavior when it comes to voting (more on that in a bit). 

Alabama state Rep. David Cole seems to be the latest in a long list of such Republican frauds, and his story points to the GOP’s rank hypocrisy when it comes to protecting the ballot from cheaters.  

As The Associated Press reported Thursday

Republican Rep. David Cole of Huntsville will plead guilty to a charge of voting in an unauthorized location, according to a plea agreement filed in state court. He will resign from office on the day he enters his guilty plea.

Cole, a doctor and Army veteran, was elected to the House of Representatives last year. According to a plea agreement, Cole signed a lease in 2021 to pay $5 per month for a “5X5 space” in a home in order to run for office in House District 10. Cole had some mail sent there, but never lived there and never “stepped past the entry foyer” on the two times he visited the location, according to the plea agreement.

According to the plea agreement, Cole used that fraudulent address to vote — and another unauthorized address, too. As Mike Cason reported for

Cole used the “H.S” address to vote absentee in the May 2022 primary and to vote in-person in the June 2022 runoff, the plea agreement says. In response to media questions, he gave an altered copy of his lease with “H.S.” to his campaign manager that said he was renting a house instead of a “5x5″ area.

In October 2022, Cole changed the address in his voter registration to an apartment and used that address to vote in the November 2022 general election. But the plea agreement said Cole was not authorized to do that because he had filed a property tax exemption document stating he lived at his home in District 4.

Cason also notes that Republicans basically ignored the allegations against Cole when confronted with them during the GOP primary last year: 

Cole’s primary opponent Anson Knowles complained to Alabama Republican Party officials that Cole had not resided in the district for a year prior to the election, as required by state law. The party left Cole on the ballot, but removed Knowles for having been involved with the Libertarian Party.

In the general election, Cole defeated Democrat Marilyn Lands and Libertarian Elijah Boyd to win the seat. Boyd later contested Cole’s victory in court.

It probably goes without saying that members of the Republican Party in Alabama, a state that Donald Trump won by nearly 30 points in the 2020 presidential election, have essentially parroted Trump’s false claims of Democratic voter fraud costing him re-election. (Funny enough: They’ve been rather silent on Cole’s plea deal.) 

Nearly every Republican member of the state’s congressional delegation voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Trump’s favor, and Republican Gov. Kay Ivey has repeated Trump’s false allegations as well. The Alabama Republican Party hosted Trump’s first speech after being federally indicted over his efforts to overturn his election loss, and he used it to reheat his false claims of voter fraud — to local GOPers’ delight.

The Alabama Republican Party has no credibility on the matter of ethical voting practices. 

Aside from Cole’s recent issues, the current chair of the Alabama GOP has voted multiple times with an ID card he made himself (and Alabama’s Republican state auditor gave a dubious explanation for it). The Alabama GOP’s choice to count a disputed ballot in a hotly contested primary for a state Senate seat last year sparked intraparty chaos. And the Republican-led Alabama Legislature is currently defying a Supreme Court ruling on the state’s racially discriminatory congressional map.

David Cole is one example of the GOP’s disregard for lawful voting in Alabama. But there are plenty more to choose from.