3 days before mayoral election, allegations of fraud, buying, intimidating voters emerge

3 days before mayoral election, allegations of fraud, buying, intimidating voters emerge

NEW ROADS, LA (WAFB) - There are allegations of voter fraud, buying and intimidating voters is swarming in the small town of New Roads just three days before a major election. Incumbent Mayor Robert Myer claims one of his opponents is under investigation.

Mayor Robert Myer walked out of the Pointe Coupee Court House ready to address a small crowd of supporters and the media in a news conference he called late Thursday evening.

Myer, who is seeking a second term in office, is accusing one of his opponents, Cornell Dukes, of voter fraud, intimidating voters, and buying votes.

"There are four people being investigated," said Myer. "Cornell Dukes and three of his campaign workers."

Myer pulled what he says are examples from a bag behind the podium to make his point.

"We have a tape recording where a gentleman admits to being coerced to vote by payment of, and unfortunately, 40 ounces of beer and $2," said Myer.

Myer claims the Secretary of State, the Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Office, and the District Attorney's Office are investigating voter fraud allegations against Dukes made by at least four people. However, no one from these offices were present.

When asked for examples, he said "I've already outlined the complaints. The Chief met with me, the DA's office, the Secretary of State's office, and the Sheriff's office."

He couldn't say why those agencies were not present Friday.

When WAFB reporter Cheryl Mercedes continued to pepper Myer with questions, he walked away from the podium and Cheryl followed him to the parking lot.

Cheryl wanted to know where his proof was since he was making allegations. Myer responded "That will be born in the investigation."

Myer tried to dodge our cameras again, but we followed him back into the courthouse, down the hall, and back out to his SUV where he got in and drove off.

Mayoral candidate Cornell Dukes says this is a political stunt.

Dukes says he believes Mayor Myer's news conference was a last-ditch effort to pull votes. He says it stems from his request to review the mayor's city credit card receipts. Cornell denies he tried to get votes illegally.

District Attorney Tony Clayton says he is not aware of the allegations Myer is making. Sheriff Bud Torres says his office is reviewing complaints, but has not launched a formal investigation.

The Secretary of State office would neither confirm nor deny if they are investigating.

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