Last Modified: Friday, August 03, 2012 10:59 PM
Louisiana’s top election official is taking issue with a report that says state election officials are not prepared for potential problems with electronic ballot machines.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler emphasized to the Lake Charles Kiwanis Club on Thursday that Louisiana’s election system is one of the best in the country.
“We haven’t had a problem in one vote, if so it was a malfunction,” he said.
A report by Verified Voting Foundation, the Rutgers Law School Constitutional Litigation Clinic and Common Cause ranked Louisiana as one of the three states — Mississippi and Delaware are the other two — that are least prepared to react to election-day troubles.
Schedler said the groups are proponents of paper ballots.
“Unless we use a paper ballot, we will always flunk the deal every time,” he said.
Schedler said he’s not interested in using paper ballots because of potential problems in counting them and the possibility of election fraud. He also does not support the use of mail ballots unless they are needed for specific reasons.
“When you send in a mail ballot, you lose control and confidentiality,” he said.
Schedler said he intends to continue sharing the message that the state needs to do a better job of planning elections.
According to the Secretary of State’s Office, Louisiana held about 70 elections from 2005 to 2010. During that same time, North Carolina had nine elections.
“Thirty-two of the 70 were to fill legislative vacancies. Those cost millions of dollars,” Schedler said.
“Louisiana has way, way, too many elections,” he said.
Schedler will address next week’s Louisiana Municipal Association convention scheduled for the Lake Charles Civic Center.