Suit alleges forged signatures used for petition - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Suit alleges forged signatures used for petition

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

At least 100 names and signatures of voters are needed in lieu of candidates having to pay a filing fee.

That's what Twahna Harris was going for with all the signatures as she runs for East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council District 1, which is the Zachary area. Currently, Trey Welch represents that district, and he is running for re-election.

On Thursday, Welch filed a suit against Harris. He said the law states the actual registered voter must personally sign the nominating petition himself or herself. He claims that didn't happen for some of the names on the petition, which is why he said some of the signatures are forged.

District Attorney Hillar Moore said he sent eight of his investigators out to Zachary to question many of the people whose names were on the petition.

"I did sign my name and my children's names on the petition. I had permission from both of them to sign their signatures. I was at home. My cousin Bridgett and her granddaughter came by and signed it," said Moore.

Moore said that's what some of his investigators were told, which is why in some cases, several names were allegedly written by the same person. Signatures on the petition were declared a match or forged by verifying signatures on voter registrations and driver's licenses.

Moore said he didn't find any illegal activity, but it's also not how he reads the law.

"I think it's person-by-person and the actual voter signing that document, that's why you go through. Otherwise, you can come to me and say, 'Hey, Hillar, why don't you call 100 of your friends and let's do it with one person'," said Moore.

WAFB called Harris for comment. The call was not returned. Harris is set to go before a judge Monday morning on the issue.

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