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Last updated 11:12PM ET
March 3, 2021
Alabama
Alabama
Former Greensboro Council Member Indicted For Vote Fraud
(2007-08-20)
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - A former Greensboro City Council member and another woman became the first arrests in the state's ongoing voter fraud investigation in Hale County.

Attorney General Troy King announced Friday that former Greensboro City Council member Valada Paige Banks and Rosie Lyles of Greensboro were arrested Thursday night. They made bond and were released from the Hale County Jail.

Phone messages left Friday for Banks were not immediately returned. A phone listing could not be found for Lyles.

Banks, also known as Valada Undra Paige, had been on the City Council and served as mayor pro tem until her conviction in December for the first-degree theft of $8,758 in food stamp benefits. That case was also brought by the attorney general's office.

At a news conference, King said he presented evidence to a Hale County grand jury Thursday and it issued indictments charging each woman with:

_one count of second-degree possession of a forged instrument with knowledge it was forged. The instrument was an affidavit for an absentee voter.

_four counts of promoting illegal absentee voting.

One count involved the special Hale County Democratic primary held Oct. 26, 2004, to fill the state Senate seat vacated by Democrat Charles Steele of Tuscaloosa. Democratic state Rep. Bobby Singleton of Greensboro won that position.

Three counts involve a special Hale County Democratic primary held May 3, 2005, to fill Singleton's House seat. Democrat Ralph Howard of Greensboro won that position.

King said the indictments showed his office's investigation into voting in the west Alabama county had overcome "three years of obstacles and roadblocks."

"From the very moment we began, we encountered deception, deceit, and even intimidation. It got so bad that one of my investigators was arrested and put in jail," King said.

The attorney general recalled the role Hale County played in the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s push for voting rights in 1965, but said King's dream had "become a nightmare" in the rural county because of "rampant allegations of vote fraud in nearly every election."

The attorney general said his investigation is ongoing, but the grand jury took an important step toward cleaning up Hale County elections and protecting King's dream.

Second-degree possession of a forged instrument is punishable by one to 10 years in prison and a fine of up $5,000. Promoting illegal absentee voting is punishable by one to two years in prison and a fine between $500 and $2,000.
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