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Democratic city councilman arrested, charged with eight counts of election fraud

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Louisiana's attorney general said Emanuel Zanders illegally registered nearly two dozen people to vote in his district amid his re-election bid

Image source: Office of the Louisiana Attorney General

A city councilman in Amite, Louisiana, was arrested and charged with eight counts of election fraud last week.

What are the details?

Emanuel Zanders III is accused of illegally registering nearly two dozen people to vote in his district amid his re-election in November, WAFB-TV reported.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin announced the charges on Jan. 6.

Landry said Zanders allegedly urged 22 people to list vacant lots as their home addresses so he could increase the number of people eligible to vote for him, the station reported.

Zanders "purposefully manipulated citizens into illegally changing their voter registrations," Landry said, according to WAFB.

The station said Zanders won re-election to his third term on the council by just 19 votes. He received 206 votes while his runoff opponent, Claire Bell, received 187 votes.

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.

The 52-year-old Democrat was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Prison on Jan. 5 and has since bonded out, the Advocate reported, citing booking records. The paper added that Zanders could not be reached for comment.

What did state officials have to say?

"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."

Anything else?

A Texas woman was arrested on felony charges of election fraud, illegal voting, unlawfully assisting people voting by mail, and unlawfully possessing an official ballot, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday.

And Paxton said the suspect got caught on a Project Veritas video in the midst of "shocking and blatantly illegal action."

"Many continue to claim that there's no such thing as election fraud," the attorney general added. "We've always known that such a claim is false and misleading, and today we have additional hard evidence."

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