While most of the nation is questioning election integrity, Louisiana is dealing with its own case of voter fraud. On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Landry said that an arrest had been made. The only detail given was that it was a Louisiana city councilman.
There was a lot of speculation that this arrest was made in Amite, Louisiana, home of Governor John Bel Edwards. On Wednesday, the Attorney General confirmed Councilman Emanuel Zanders III of Amite was arrested on 8 counts of election fraud. Landry says this is still an ongoing investigation.
Zanders was recently reelected for a third term as District 3 councilman for Amite, Louisiana. The democrat incumbent ran against the widow of Amite’s former mayor, Claire Anderson Bel (NP). The race was close, but Zanders won by 19 votes with slightly less than a 50% voter turnout.
In October, the Tangipahoa parish registrar of voters contacted the Secretary of State’s office with concerns about voter registration forms being turned in with fraudulent addresses. So far the investigation shows six voters registered at 506 S 2nd and 16 voters registered at 610 S 2nd Street which are both vacant lots.
That totals 22 fraudulent voters. Zanders’ margin of victory was only 19 votes.
“Multiple witness statements indicate that Councilman Zanders purposely manipulated citizens into illegally changing their voter registration,” says Attorney General Jeff Landry. Evidence also shows that Zanders submitted a voter registration application on behalf of a citizen using his own address. This resident had no knowledge of this application and the signature on the application was not theirs.
Both the Attorney General and the Secretary of State stressed the importance of election integrity. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said that Louisiana has a tried and true process. He added that checks and balances worked as they should.