Voter misconduct charges have been filed against state Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, and two associates, the Alaska Department of Law announced Friday.
Attorney General Kevin Clarkson and Deputy Attorney General John Skidmore told reporters that summons had been issued to LeDoux and two other people, but that no arrest warrants had been issued.
“I am innocent of all charges and look forward to clearing my name in a court of law,” LeDoux wrote in an email Friday.
She said she could not comment on the details of the case because it was an ongoing legal matter.
“The filing of these charges will not answer all your or the public’s questions,” Skidmore said. “This is really just the beginning of the criminal justice process.”
The defendants have been asked to appear before a court in Anchorage next Friday, Skidmore said, and noted that suspects are innocent until proven guilty.
Sitting lawmakers are immune from misdemeanor charges, Skidmore said, but the charges brought against LeDoux contain felonies that supersede that immunity.
LeDoux was charged with one Class C felony, first-degree voter misconduct and eight misdemeanors of second-degree voter misconduct and unlawful interference with voting.
The charges were made against LeDoux, Lisa Simpson and Caden Vaught. Most charges date back to 2o18, Skidmore said, but there were a few which dated back to 2014.
Voter misconduct involves the filing of false affidavits and statements on voting materials. The charges stem from Simpson and Vaught providing false information on voting materials and Ledoux and Simpson“acting as principals or accomplices” illegally registered Simpson to vote, according to court documents.
The Division of Elections notified the Alaska State Troopers of irregularities in absentee ballots for House District 15 in Anchorage where LeDoux was running for office, according to documents. Text messages obtained by law enforcement through warrants raised concerns LeDoux “solicited and/or encouraged people who did not live in her district to vote in the District 15 primary and general election in 2018 and 2014,” according to the documents.
Simpson was a friend of LeDoux’s who had previously worked as her chief of staff, according to the documents, and Vaught is Simpson’s adult son. Vaught submitted at three voter registration forms between June and September 2018, according to the documents, each listing the same house in District 15.
Simpson and Vaught both submitted voter registration forms listing addresses where records show they did not reside, according to the documents, and text messages included in the charging documents show LeDoux was both aware of the situation and encouraged them to register.
Concerns around the District 15 primary were raised in 2018 when a number of absentee ballots were requested under the names of dead people.
Each of the charges comes with its own penalties, and any sentencing resulting from a series of convictions would be up to the court to decide.
“If convicted, the defendants could face a maximum of five years in prison,” Clarkson said in a release. “Because this is a summons and not an arrest, a grand jury must be convened within 20 days of the first appearance in court.”
• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or email@example.com.