Last week, a city councilman in Amite, Louisiana, was arrested and charged with eight election fraud counts.
According to WAFB-TV, Emanuel Zanders III is accused of illegally registering almost two dozen people to vote in his district for his re-election in November.
On January 6, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin announced the charges filed against him.
According to Landry, Zanders allegedly urged 22 people to list vacant lots as their home addresses to increase the number of people eligible to vote for him, said the station.
Landry said that Zanders “purposefully manipulated citizens into illegally changing their voter registrations,” reported WAFB.
The station also said that Zanders won his re-election for his third term on the council by 19 votes. He had received 2016 votes, while his runoff opponent Claire Bell, received 187 votes. That means that without the 22 people he registered for fraud, he would have lost.
Landry said his office and Ardoin’s office began investigating the case in October 2020 after getting a tip from the Tangipahoa Parish Registrar of Voters, WAFB reported.
52-year-old Democrat Zanders was taken into the Tangipahoa Parish Prison on January 5, but he has since bonded out, reported the Advocate, who also cited booking records. The paper added that Zanders could not be reached for any comment.
“Anything other than a one-for-one vote distorts our election process,” Landry said. “Those who wish to distort an election in this matter are breaking the law and betraying their fellow citizens. It is even more disheartening when the perpetrator is an elected official.”
Ardoin added that “election integrity matters,” and Zanders’ arrest “should serve as a stark warning to those looking to violate our election laws.”
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