ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. - The office of the Georgia Secretary of State has opened an investigation after someone filed a complaint about a post on the Facebook page for a candidate in the Conyers' mayoral race.
The post offered free gas for some early voters. The campaign issued a statement acknowledging they are aware of the complaint.
FOX 5 News found the post on the Ronnie Godwin's Facebook page, which offers $5 of free gas to the first 100 early voters who come into a Conyers gas station, but the gas station owner said he never offered free gas to voters and doesn't know why this was posted, to begin with.
"Ask Mr. Ronnie what's going on," said Naseem Ulhaq, the owner of the gas station.
A frustrated, Naseem Ulhaq said he has no idea why there's a state investigation into the store he manages in Conyers. He said he's just as shocked as everyone else, that his store would give out free gas to customers who voted early in Conyers.
It's an allegation that now has the Secretary of State's office involved.
"What are you talking about. Please bring the person out we have the gas too. That is the problem. If you know the customer, bring it up. Hey you give this gas to this person, then we're responsible, and he didn't pay for it then we're responsible," said Ulhaq.
The allegation surfaced Monday after someone reported a post on mayoral candidate Ronnie Godwin's Facebook page.
Looking at his page Wednesday, there is no post offering a gas discount. But if you look at the post that states 'Get out and go vote,' and then click the edit history, there, FOX 5 saw it's been modified from its original version.
The original posts reads:
"After you early vote tomorrow in the City of Conyers election, go get $5.00 of FREE gasoline at the SHELL gas station at the corner of West Avenue and Green Street.
"Simply, enter the store with your “I Voted” decal and provide identification indicating you are a city of Conyers resident to the clerk.
"Offer is limited to the first 100 participants."
"We're investigating all the circumstances. It's an open investigation. We will go where the facts and evidence leads us," said Chris Harvey, the Director of Elections at the Georgia Secretary of State's office.
He says it's entirely too early to know if any laws have been broken.
"it is a priority to our office. It's a priority for our investigators and they're actively working as we speak," said Harvey.
Godwin's campaign issued a statement expressing they're aware of the complaint and they feel it's unfounded, but have a legal team reviewing it.
Ulhaq maintains he had nothing to do with this, even though he has a Ronnie Godwin campaign sign outside his store, as well as employees showing support for Godwin.
Naseem said they support all candidates.
"I have no problem. I didn't break no law. I'm not running, I'm here. I have to worry about things if I break the law. If I gave gas for free, then responsibility on me. We have no idea," said Ulhaq.
FOX 5 News has reached out to Godwin and his attorney by phone as well as e-mail to ask if the candidate was aware of the post on his campaign page, who authorized the offer, and why the post was removed from public viewing. Neither has responded to our questions.