SB 786 - This act permits any person to file a complaint alleging an election offense with the Secretary of State and grants the Secretary the authority to investigate such claims. In the event that the Secretary finds reasonable grounds that an election offense has been committed, the Secretary may issue a probable cause statement. If the Secretary issues a probable cause statement, he or she may refer the offense to the Attorney General or the appropriate prosecuting attorney.
The act further grants authority to investigate, commence, and prosecute election offenses to the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, and the prosecuting attorney of each county. The authority of prosecuting attorneys would be limited to bringing prosecutions only against election offenses which have occurred within the jurisdiction for which the prosecuting attorney serves. Once any of the above officers has commenced prosecution of an election offense, one of the other officers may provide assistance in that prosecution, but such entity may not commence a separate prosecution.