A Georgia judge threw the book at William Chase, 62, of Walker County, Ga., who was convicted by a Walker County jury of forgery in the first-degree, illegal acts regarding election documents, unlawful acts regarding elector’s vote, and repeat voting in the same election.
Chief Judge Kristina Graham sentenced Chase to 25 years in prison with the first 15 years to be served in the Georgia Department of Corrections without the possibility of parole.
District Attorney Chris Arnt said, “William Chase is no stranger to fraud and forgery as he has several felony convictions including bankruptcy fraud, theft by shoplifting, forgery in the first-degree, stealing public documents, financial identity fraud, and impersonating an officer.
“This defendant sought to disenfranchise a Walker County citizen. Thankfully, Mr. Chases’ voter fraud was caught and we had sufficient evidence to successfully prosecute him.
“This prosecution, along with the stiff prison sentence, will hopefully send a clear message that we do not tolerate voter fraud in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit.”
It took the jury less than an hour of deliberation to come to convict Chase.
According to ABC9:
William Chase filled out another Walker County resident’s absentee ballot in the January 2021 runoff election after it was sent ton a PO box at an old address by mistake.
When the husband of the original owner of the ballot got his and she did not, the DA says she called the Walker County Elections Office to inquire about it.
The Elections Office found out that it has already been accepted, but not yet counted, and that it appeared to have her signature, the DA says.
The resident went to the Elections Office and pointed out that it was not her signature.
The DA says the Elections Office cancelled the forged ballot and had a new ballot sent to the resident’s current address.
The Elections Office then requested the Secretary of State Office investigate the forged ballot.
According to The Chattanoogan:
Investigator Paul Cain began his investigation by obtaining the post office’s ownership records for the PO box the absentee ballot was sent to.
The records revealed that the current owner of the PO box was William Clifford Chase. Chase himself had already submitted his own ballot for the January 2021 runoff election.
Inv. Cain asked the defendant for a statement and he claimed he was the only one with access to the PO box. Inv. Cain then transported the sealed suspect ballot to the GBI crime lab for fingerprint analysis.
The absentee ballot had to be opened and the entire ballot composed three parts; 1) the exterior envelope where the signature was located, 2) an inner security envelope, 3) the ballot containing the candidate selection.
A GBI fingerprint expert found a suitable latent print on the ballot containing the candidate selection and compared it to the known fingerprints of William Chase. It was a match.