Tunica County sheriff alleges opponent forged signatures in race

TUNICA, Miss. — Allegations of voter suppression and fraud have taken over the Tunica County Sheriff's race.

The sheriff alleges signatures from dead people, felons and some who don't even live in the state were among his opponents 50 required signatures to run for office.

"He did not have to seek the dead. This is wrong. It is wrong. It's embarrassing," Sheriff K.C. Hamp, with the Tunica County Sheriff's Office, said.

He alleges his opponent, Dennis Allen, forged many of the signatures needed to qualify for sheriff.

"I was very, very, very appalled when I found that Mr. Allen, Minister Allen, had a deceased person who had signed for him to run in office."

In a press conference, Sheriff Hamp showed an obituary and death certificate from a woman who died two years ago and from a man who died the day Allen submitted his paperwork.

Family members say their loved ones didn't sign the documents. But their names are there.

Allen denies all accusations of wrong doing. "I'm a man of integrity and dignity as I stated. This is totally intimidation, defamation of character, voter suppression and slander," he said.

But integrity is the reason the sheriff said he made this information public.

"If we would go so far to do something so low, if he was elected sheriff what else would he do," Sheriff Hamp asked.

When we presented the sheriff's argument to Allen, he couldn't explain it. "I have nothing to say because I don't know."

He did say he stands by his signatures, and he personally collected each one. But he can't explain why a dead person's name would be there.

"My voter petition signatures was verified by the Tunica County Circuit Court Office, and they verified everything." The clerks office confirmed that over the phone on Monday.

Sheriff Hamp says another set of eyes are needed.

"We're going to contact the Mississippi Attorney General's Office to ask for a criminal investigation."

Allen says he hired two attorneys to look into this. At last check, Sheriff Hamp hadn't filed any formal complaint.

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