- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

PORT ALLEN, La. (AP) - An attorney for former Mayor Demetric Slaughter has filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department seeking an investigation into alleged voter intimidation and suppression he claims is interfering with early voting in the Port Allen mayor’s race.

Slaughter’s attorney, Ronald Johnson, states in a letter that a probe by the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office of possible voter fraud is intimidating some black voters from casting their votes.

The letter claims the investigation by the sheriff's office violates federal voting and civil rights laws because it targets mostly elderly and/or disabled black voters in Port Allen.

“Some are expressing outright fear as a result of the sheriff’s investigation,” Johnson said Wednesday. “The manner by which the investigation is being conducted has left them feeling they need not cast their vote or they have cast it wrongfully.”

Johnson, in the letter, accuses the sheriff's office of outright asking individuals targeted in the investigation if they have voted for Slaughter during early voting last week. Slaughter’s attorney also chides the sheriff's office for publicly indicating Slaughter is a target in the investigation without supporting documentation or proof of her involvement.

Johnson’s letter also includes a request for federal oversight over Saturday’s mayoral election.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1ottg0O) the sheriff’s office launched its investigation last week after receiving complaints that hundreds of mail-in and faxed requests for early voting ballots did not match voter information on file with the parish Registrar of Voters Office.

Slaughter is one of four candidates vying for the city’s mayoral spot following her Nov. 16 recall.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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