Voters asked to look out for fraud

Authorities cracking down on illegal activity at the polls

Monday, November 1, 2010 - 2:57pm

BATON ROUGE, La (WVLA) -- Voters have more to worry about at the polls than just choosing their favorite candidates. Officials warn them to keep their eyes and ears open for voter fraud.

For most people, the words "voter fraud" don't mean much, but officials say, they should.

"People need to report it. People need to be aware of it, and be willing to talk about it to the right authorities," says U.S. Attorney Donald Cazayoux.

Voter fraud covers a wide range of illegal activity. It's everything from posing as someone else in order to vote to heckling voters on their way to the polls. It's a frustrating concept for local voters.

"Why am I voting if somebody's going to cheat and get whoever they want in position there by doing something illegal?" asks Batiste.

While that fraud has become less and less common in recent years, residents say, just one illegal act at the polls is one too many. "I think it's terrible. I think it's unethical. It destroys our whole system of the way we vote for offices," says Linda Weinstein.

That's why officials take it so seriously. The penalty for voter fraud could reach up to five years in jail. "The right to vote forms the bedrock principle of our democracy, so if that right is alienated or subjected to any type of pressure, we want to know about it," says Cazayoux.

If you think someone is doing something illegal at the polls, officials want you to let them know.

US Attorney's office at (225) 389-0443

FBI (504) 816-3000
Neworleans@ic.fbi.gov

Louisiana Secretary of State: Elections Compliance Unit (225) 342-4479

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