Robertson County has had its fair share of election controversy in recent years. With the March primaries just around the corner, federal and county authorities want to make certain that trend doesn't continue.
That's why the two have joined forces to ensure that all future Robertson County elections are beyond reproach.
Trudy Hancock is Robertson County's new Election Administrator. She's aware of the problems the county faced in the past with voter fraud allegations, but she's hoping the slate can be wiped clean. In order to help identify and prevent voter fraud, the county is providing informational meetings for candidates and others who help with elections.
" We're teaching them how to approach people about early voting. We tell them the penalties of improperly assisting someone," said Hancock.
District Attorney John Paschall has prosecuted 30 voter fraud cases. He says many instances of voter fraud occur when people try to tamper with signatures for mail in ballots. Now the county has a signature verification board.
"We're going to take it pretty seriously. In the past we've had some problems in Robertson County with illegal voting and people who were abusing the absentee process," said Paschall.
Paschall says it often very difficult to prove voter fraud but still encourages citizens to report any suspicious activity to the D.A.'s office.
" We don't want to discourage people from voting absentee or in person. We just want to make sure that they follow the rules and don't violate the laws," said Paschall.
Voter fraud can range from a class A Misdemeanor to a 1st Degree felony with thousands of dollars in fines and jail time. Elections officials are hoping more training and knowledge of the law the will prevent people from trying to illegally influence the vote.
The last day to register to vote in the March primary or submit an address change is February 6th.
Upload your photo, with a caption of your reason to smile, then watch the last half hour of BVTM from 6:30A - 7A Monday mornings to see if your photo makes it.