New allegations of Port Allen voter fraud
PORT ALLEN, La. - The investigation into possible voter fraud is expanding in Port Allen as more mail-in ballots are being scrutinized by the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.
Early voting is closed and the numbers show a high turn out for the mayoral election, with 1,410 votes cast, 34 percent of registered voters.
New allegations of voter fraud surfaced Monday, casting a shadow over the race in the eyes of some voters.
"Port Allen definitely needs to get back on the right track," said resident James Rouse.
West Baton Rouge Parish deputies said they're looking into several hundred mail-in ballots after late last week they noticed that signatures weren't matching up on the applications. They said at least one of the alleged discrepancies came from someone tied to former mayor Deedy Slaughter, who was recalled in November. Slaughter is running again in attempts to win her former position.
Other candidates in the race said these allegations taint the race.
"Little premature to comment on. (It's) still early," said candidate for mayor Larry Bell.
"If it's voter fraud, then those ballots are thrown out," said candidate Kirby Anderson. "That's taking away votes from someone that could've had those votes."
Slaughter's campaign said they are in talks with an attorney to file charges of voter intimidation against the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office regarding the voter fraud allegations.
"It's never positive," said Bell. "Something we have to live with. Hopefully it'll work itself out best for the people of Port Allen."
The election for Port Allen mayor is Saturday.