Suspended Judge Carlton Vines is charged with unlawful possession of ballots, conspiracy to commit election fraud and making false statements in connection with filing notice of candidacy.
He has pleaded not guilty.
The indictment states that Vines had official ballots in his possession outside of a polling place on Nov. 3, 2006, and conspired with others to enter the absentee ballots and defraud the election.
The meat of the investigation and charges center around 19 absentee ballots with metered postage mailed from Summerville attorney Albert Palmours office.
Vines beat incumbent Samuel C. Finster by 125 votes in the election. Finster won the ballot box by 2,119 votes to 1,943 but lost the absentee vote 336 to 637.
This February, Gov. Sonny Perdue swore in Finster as interim Chattooga County State Court judge until the charges against Vines are resolved.
Pre-trial motions were held in Cherokee Circuit Court, with Judge G. Carey Nelson presiding after all the Chattooga Superior court judges were recused.
The State Court judges seat has been a source of controversy since 2004, when Vines stepped down to run for solicitor general and Palmour, the solicitor, stepped down to run for the bench.
Perdue took the opportunity to fill the vacancies with Finster as judge and Don Thompson as solicitor effectively pushing back the elections to 2006.
Vines was suspended indefinitely from the State Court bench in November 2007, after he was charged with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. He pleaded guilty to DUI in April 2008.
He then was indicted for election fraud in September 2008. The initial indictment was thrown out on a technicality and an October 2008 indictment was dropped at the request of the prosecution.
The hearing Monday stems from a January 2009 indictment on the same charges