Vote Buy - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

November 5, 2002

Vote Buy

Election officials are just wrapping up their vote-buying investigation in Iberville parish stemming from the primary election and tonight state eyes are watching at the polls. Monitors are on hand at several polling places in, and around, Plaquemine.

A dark cloud looms over the Seymourville gym. Plaquemine voters walk in to find state monitors watching the polls. Already their presence is reflected by stopping some activity.

Clerk of Court Bubbie Dupont says on most election days they have people hanging around each precinct, but today those people weren't there. Dupont is glad election officials are looking into vote buying allegations in the October 5th election.

The race in which investigators are focused is the district judge's race. Investigators learned that during absentee voting for the October 5th primary, some voters were offered up to ten dollars to vote for candidate Sharrah Harris. However, state monitors appear to have quelled the clamor this time.

"For the November 5th election, it was a lot quieter, we had a lot less voters and to my knowledge, there we no additional complaints filed," said Registrar of Voters Melissa Bourgoyne.

And while monitors may be watching where voters vote, officials don't believe it will change how they vote. "I think that most over our voters are legitimate voters and they want to get out and cast their ballot," said Bourgoyne.

Both the Iberville clerk and registrar say there've been no problems today. Meanwhile, elections fraud investigator Greg Malveaux tells 9-News he hopes to wrap up his vote buying investigation in the next couple of weeks.

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