Secretary of state says candidates campaign contest is illegal - CBS46 News

Secretary of state says candidates campaign contest is illegal

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JONESBORO, GA (CBS46) -

If you go to Chip Flanegan's website, it offers visitors a chance to win $10,000.

"You are going to watch two videos, one that my opponent did and one that I did. Then you are going to answer a simple ten question survey and that qualifies you for the contest," said Flanegan.

Flanegan, a Republican who is running against Republican incumbent Lynn Westmoreland for the 3rd District said there will be a drawing to pick the winner with the most correct answers.

"Each question is worth $1,000 and two of them are really throw away questions. It doesn't matter how you answer them so we will give away at least $2,000 to whoever the lucky winner is. The whole reason we are doing this is to get people to know the candidates and that is at the top part of my card," Flanegan said.

But a spokesperson with the Georgia Secretary of State said Flanegan's contest is illegal because of the following language from a state law OCGA 21-2-570.

"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."

Flanegan said he is not breaking the law.

"First of all in Georgia we have Diebold voting machines so there is no way to tell how they voted in the first place and even if they vote for the opponent, they still qualify for the contest. So it doesn't matter how they vote, they just do have to vote," Flanegan said.

Investigators with the Georgia Secretary of State said they will contact Flanegan with their findings. Flanegan said he is not worried.

"I have checked with the Federal Election Commission and they say there are no rules against having contests," Flanegan said.

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