Candidate makes contest compliant with state law

by Sarah Fay Campbell

alt

Flanegan 


Congressional candidate Chip Flanegan has tweaked his online contest – which promises one lucky winner up to $10,000 – to come into compliance with state law.

Flanegan, who is running against Congressman Lynn Westmoreland in the May 20 Republican Primary for the 3rd District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, was contacted last week by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, which stated his contest violated election laws.

Under state law, “any person who gives or receives, offers to give or receive, or participates in the giving or receiving of money or gifts for the purpose of registering as a voter, voting, or voting for a particular candidate in any primary or election shall be guilty of a felony.”

Originally, contestants were required to actually vote in the election in order to be eligible for the prize in Flanegan’s contest.

Contestants must watch two videos – one of Flanegan and one of Westmoreland, and then answer 10 questions. Each correct question is worth $1,000, and one winner will be randomly drawn.

Flanegan was contacted by the Secretary of State’s office last week. On Tuesday, he talked with a representative of the office.

Flanegan was told that he would have to remove the requirement that contestants actually vote, and that would clear up any problems.

Flanegan said that, after he was originally contacted by the state, he had two attorneys and a friend who is a judge consider the issue, and none of them thought the state had a case.

“There is no correlation between the voting and the money. We are not paying them to vote,” Flanegan said. He said the secretary of state’s representative told him that even a company giving away free coffee or a discount to someone with a voting sticker is against the law.

“I’m not into starting fights with anybody. It would be a dumb fight to start,” Flanegan said. It only took a bit of work on the computer to change the contest rules. And “what it did was open the contest up to more people,” Flanegan said. “The idea was to educate the voters.”

Thanks to the controversy, “we got a lot of free publicity,” Flanegan said.



More Local

AAMCO locating new training center in Shenandoah

AAMCO, the world’s largest chain of transmission specialists and a leader in total car care, will open its new AAMCO University in Cow ... Read More


Avoiding plane crashes as air traffic doubles

NEW YORK (AP) — More travelers are flying than ever before, creating a daunting challenge for airlines: keep passengers safe in an eve ... Read More


10 Things to Know for Today

our daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR ENTERS FOURTH WEE ... Read More


Missing Teen Found Safe

The 13-year-old girl reported missing on July 23 was found by authorities over the weekend and returned to her home. Karianna Cabello was fo ... Read More


Armed robbery suspect sought by Peachtree City authorities

In the early morning hours of July 27, Peachtree City Police officers responded to a residence on Abrell Woods Court after a reported armed ... Read More

Property values increase, school system millage rate to stay same

The Coweta County School System is maintaining its millage rate of 18.59 for the 2014 property taxes. The county’s overall tax digest ... Read More