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Last updated 11:11AM ET
April 17, 2021
Voter Fraud Charges in Hale County
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Former Hale County Circuit Clerk Gay Nell Tinker was arrested Tuesday on felony charges stemming from a probe of vote fraud in west Alabama.

Attorney General Troy King, who announced the arrest, said a Hale County grand handed down a 13-count indictment against Tinker, also known as Gay Singleton, after hearing evidence presented by King's office Monday.

"Vote fraud is a serious crime," King said in a statement. "It is not a crime agaisnt just an individual voter or a particular candidate. It is a crime against democracy, itself. When it is committed as charged in these indictments by the very custodian of the election system, a circuit clerk, it is even more grievous."

The indictment charges Tinker with nine counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, two counts of promoting illegal absentee voting and two counts of first-degree perjury.

Tinker was arrested by Hale County sheriff's officers and agents from the attorney general's office and taken to the Hale County Jail. It was not immediately clear whether she was still being held Tuesday afternoon. A person answering the phones at the jail referred calls to the sheriff's office, where there was no answer Tuesday afternoon.

Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Tinker at home and business numbers listed for her were unsuccessful.

The charges stem from an investigation by King's office into absentee voting fraud in Greensboro. The investigation includes the election of Tinker's ex-husband, state Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, in 2004.

According to court records, the investigation involves a review of an absentee ballot with Singleton's signature as a witness to verify the identity of the person casting the ballot.

If convicted, Tinker faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 for each count of second-degree possession of a forged instrument and each count of perjury, both class C felonies, and two years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 for each count of promoting illegal absentee voting, an unclassified felony.

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