Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel has released a press statement on the Carlton Vines Case in Chattooga County.  Handel directed investigators from her office to begin the investigation into alleged voter fraud in the 2006 State Court Judge election in Chattooga County.In the press release Handel stated “Voter fraud undermines the integrity of our elections processes and the public’s trust, and will not be tolerated,” Handel said. “Carlton Vines’ resignation is a victory for Georgia’s election laws and Chattooga County voters.” Vines has resigned his position as State Court Judge, and among other requirements has agreed not to run for any other judicial position in the future.  Also, along with other requirements Vines is barred from making any public statement that would “vilify” any of the investigators that worked on the case, according to the court order that was handed down last Friday.One of Vines’ attorneys, Rex Abernathy of Summerville, told reporters on Friday,  that the terms of Vines’ resignation and agreement with the state to drop charges proves that the case against Vines was politically motivated.  Abernathy told the Rome News Tribune, "The charges were all about politics from the start; this certainly proves it — they wanted a judgeship from the beginning and now they got it.”Secretary of State Handle went on to say in her press release “I want to thank the cooperating law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and investigators in the Secretary of State’s Office of Inspector General for their invaluable assistance on this case.”Handle is a Republican candidate for governor in 2010.  You can read the entire press release from the secretary of state at our web site