Louisiana’s emergency election plan has passed the Legislature on a mail ballot, but it was not unanimous among local lawmakers. The plan is to change the voting method for the spring elections. Those elections were postponed from March and April to July and August.
Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said, “This is a great result for Louisiana’s voters and election workers, especially those most susceptible to the COVID-19 virus. I want to thank President Cortez, Speaker Schexnayder, Chairwoman Hewitt, and Chairman Dwight as well as the Attorney General and the Governor for the strong partnership in developing this emergency election plan. Our plan serves as a pragmatic and temporary response to the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging our nation. I am grateful the legislature has approved this plan, which will have immediate and positive outcomes for Louisiana voters and residents.”
One member of the area delegation objected to the plan. District 22 Representative Gabe Firment voted “no” on the question. In a message to constituents Firment explained his vote, “Citizens of District 22 please be advised that I voted NO on the Emergency Election Plan. Mail-in voting has a HUGE potential for fraud and could destroy the integrity of our elections.”
Senator Louis Bernard said, “Louisiana will not be a mail-in state. This is a temporary plan that is not applicable to the fall (Presidential) election.” Bernard told The Journal that the plan had been worked out with the Louisiana Attorney General and others and it does not make any drastic changes to the election system.
Bernard said, “We have to accommodate those who have the disease, those who are caring for them, and those under quarantine.”