POSTED: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 2:30pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 2:59pm
CLINTON, LA — Clinton Police Department Investigators received a list of 115 names of voters that are alleged to have voted in the last election that were not eligible to vote in the election of Town’s Mayor and Board of Alderman. The department has also received complaints alleging vote buying and general voter fraud.
“Our understanding is that the same list has been forwarded to the Clerk of Courts Office, the Registrar of Voters Office and the Secretary of State’s Office,” Chief Eddie Steward, said.
Stewart stated that he has reached out to the Elections Compliance Unit of the Secretary of State’s Office to assist with the investigation.
The Elections Compliance Unit, as part of the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office, is charged with the investigation and reporting of matters involving violations of the Louisiana Election Code. The Unit is composed of law enforcement officers with statewide jurisdiction. The Unit conducts investigations that involve voter fraud, vote buying and voter intimidation during early voting, absentee by mail voting and Election Day voting. In addition, the Unit also investigates allegations of persons providing false or misleading information to a registrar or to a commissioner during the registration or voting process.
Stewart stated that the matter is being taken very seriously and that his investigators will work to ensure that a fair election is held and that voting rights are not violated. Stewart stated that some organizers are going around in cars or buses and money, gifts, alcohol for their votes.
Stewart stated that if investigators find that people are voting that don’t live in Town, they face a fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both, for knowingly making false statements to elections officials. He stated that vote buying and other fraud carries similar penalties. He asks that if anyone has knowledge of persons that are voting that aren’t eligible or if they have information on persons that buying votes that they contact his office immediately. Information provided that leads to the arrest and conviction of those involved could result in a reward as authorized by law.