BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A city councilman in Louisiana has been arrested for alleged election fraud, the state attorney general’s office said Wednesday.
Attorney General Jeff Landry said Amite City Councilman Emanuel Zanders was arrested Tuesday on eight counts of election fraud. He was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Prison and later released on bond, booking records show.
In October the Tangipahoa Parish registrar of voters contacted the Secretary of State’s Office with concerns that voter registration forms had been turned in with fraudulent information. Landry accused Zanders, the city’s former mayor pro tem, of illegally registering voters at addresses in his council district at which they did not live, news outlets reported.
According to Attorney General Jeff Landry, Zanders allegedly told 22 people to use the addresses of vacant lots when they registered, in order to up the number of people voting for him.
Landry said Zanders “purposefully manipulated citizens into illegally changing their voter registrations,”
Zanders won re-election to his council seat 206 to 187 a difference of just 19 votes. Landry said his office started investigating after they received a tip.
Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin joined Landry at the news conference where he said election fraud would not be tolerated in the state and said he would push for Zanders’ prosecution.