ALORTON — Reports of voter fraud in Alorton and Cahokia have prompted the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department and Cahokia Police Department to launch an investigation.
"I want the citizens to get the chance to select their candidates instead of having the voter system manipulated," Alorton Police Chief Thomas Howard said. "Alorton has had such a bad reputation in the past because of the political maneuvering."
St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson said, "We are conducting an investigation because there have been several reports of improper voting by mail."
No charges have been filed in connection with the investigation, but Watson said anyone caught engaging in vote fraud will be prosecuted.
Cahokia Police Chief James Jones confirmed that his department is also looking into voter fraud in the Bridgedale subdivision.
Alorton resident Malcolm Henderson is running for a seat on the Alorton Village Board. He said he is happy that that authorities are investigating.
"By them coming in to investigate the allegations, it shows the residents they do care. If there is any wrongdoing I hope whoever is doing wrong gets caught. The voting process should be done right. No one wants to win more than I do, but I am going to do it the right way," Henderson said.
Village Trustee Kenneth Chatman is also happy that sheriff's investigators are looking into the complaints. He said he's heard many allegations of wrongdoing and wants to make sure that fraud does not taint the election.
"I have heard that there are some improprieties going on that shouldn't be going on, Chatman said. "The problem I am understanding that is going on is with the vote by mail ballots. There is a way to assist someone. If you assist someone you have to sign the affidavit that comes with the ballot saying that you assisted them.
"Also a candidate cannot assist you with a ballot. I am hearing that people are getting people's ballots and filling them out. I want the police to get to the bottom of it so we can have a fair election process," Chatman said.