Crime & Courts

State prosecutors accuse former Alaska legislator of 4 more voter-fraud felonies linked to 2018 campaign

An Anchorage grand jury has indicted former Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, on four new felonies related to her 2018 campaign for the Alaska Legislature. LeDoux’s former chief of staff and the chief of staff’s son were also charged. LeDoux had previously been accused of another election-related felony last year.

The three pleaded not guilty to the charges during an appearance Wednesday in Anchorage Superior Court.

“I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong. I’m looking forward to clearing my name,” LeDoux said afterward.

This week’s indictments lengthen a list of accusations made last year, when prosecutors accused LeDoux, former chief of staff Lisa (Vaught) Simpson and Simpson’s son, Caden Vaught, of illegally registering to vote and illegally voting in LeDoux’s district. Charging documents alleged they sought to register others.

According to the state’s account of events, LeDoux, Simpson and Vaught “solicited and/or encouraged people who did not live in her district to vote in the House District 15 primary and general elections” in 2018 and 2014.

Charges related to the 2014 election have been dismissed, though court documents still list them. Assistant attorney general Grace Lee said their inclusion is a mistake.

All remaining charges deal with the 2018 election.

Prosecutors say Simpson and Vaught voted for LeDoux despite moving out of her legislative district in the summer before that year’s elections. In this week’s indictments, prosecutors say the three committed several felonies and misdemeanors when they knowingly provided wrong information for Simpson’s voter registration, Vaught’s voter registration, his primary ballot and his general-election ballot that year.

The state began investigating LeDoux in late summer 2018, after the Alaska Division of Elections noticed a suspicious number of absentee ballots cast from a small number of addresses in a Muldoon trailer park. None of the charges filed against LeDoux relate to ballots cast from the trailer park.

LeDoux was still in office when she was accused. She lost her reelection campaign in the August 2020 Republican primary and previously said that she believes the charges are politically motivated.

LeDoux was a Republican member of the state House’s majority coalition from 2017 through 2019 and frequently clashed with Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The investigation began during the administration of former Gov. Bill Walker.

“The political establishment will not stop until I am gone — but let them come, because I will fight to clear my name,” she said in a Facebook post soon after charges were filed.

The case has been substantially delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kevin Fitzgerald, LeDoux’s attorney, said earlier this year that he believes his client’s innocence and is seeking a speedy trial to clear her name.

First-degree voter misconduct is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in jail and a $50,000 fine. First-time felonies receive less punishment.

James Brooks

James Brooks was a Juneau-based reporter for the ADN from 2018 to May 2022.