Southeast AL mayor arrested on voter fraud charges

Southeast AL mayor arrested on voter fraud charges

HOUSTON CO., AL (WSFA) - The mayor of the small southeast Alabama town of Gordon has been arrested and charged with three counts of voter fraud, according to the Houston County Sheriff's office. Mayor Elbert Melton Jr., 69, was taken to the Houston County Jail Tuesday where he was held on bonds totaling $45,000.

Melton has since bonded out and gone back to work. He declined to comment Wednesday when asked about the charges against him.

An ongoing investigation started in August after several complaints were filed with the offices of the sheriff and district attorney.

Investigators say Melton notarized Affidavit of Absentee Voter documents for at least three people without the voters signing them in his presence, which is required by law.

"You have to have two witnesses," said Capt. Bill Rafferty with the sheriff's office, "that is supposed to observe the voters sign their names and witness it in each other's presence. The same thing applies to a notary. A notary is to be sure the person signing the paper or the documents is who they say they are."

Resident Reba Emfinger says Melton knocked on her door several times asking for her vote.

"I said 'Well, I'll see. I think I've already got chosen who I want.' I said 'I just have to take it back...when I get it signed'."

Emfinger, who wants to see Melton lose his position and another election held, said he offered to take her document back to the courthouse, something she declined.

"He cannot be trusted it's proven fact, so bye bye mayor," Emfinger stated.

The Dothan Eagle reports this is not Melton's first run-in with the law.

Gordon, with a population estimated at just over 300, is located near the Georgia state line.

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