Louisiana Secretary of State addressed voter concerns regarding voter fraud and tampering during the 2016 election on Tuesday in an open letter to the citizens of Louisiana.
Here is the full letter:
Dear Louisiana Citizens,
I and the undersigned state leaders wish to address growing concerns and rumors about the integrity of the state's election system after a series of national news stories indicated the possibility of hackers gaining access to both registration systems as well as voting machines in states other than Louisiana. It is important to emphasize the fact that Louisiana has a nationally recognized process that includes multiple layers of checks and balances which protect our election process and makes it uniquely secure.
As Secretary of State, it is my job to make voting easy and cheating hard. It's a delicate balance to make sure that our citizens can vote without hassle, but that those intent on breaking the law are easily detected. As we have reviewed our security measures, I feel we have the right balance in place. Louisiana doesn't have same day registration, Louisiana doesn't have universal registration. And Louisiana is not a mail ballot state. If we had those components, I would worry more about Election Day fraud, but we don't. What we do have is a long-standing photo I.D. law which works extremely well in identifying voters when they appear at the polls. Our voting machines are never connected to the internet and have the most up to date software available. That's not the case in every state, but voters can rest assured that our machine counts are extremely accurate and can be backed up with a paper audit after each election.
In addition to addressing voting machine security, I along with other state leaders wish to provide reassurance that Louisiana's online voter registration system includes security features aimed at preventing hacks similar to those in Arizona and Illinois.
While citizens can register to vote online through sos.la.gov, the information collected does not flow directly into our statewide registration database. Instead, voter's information is sent from the website to each parish Registrar of Voters' Office for verification and final processing. This provides the checks and balances necessary to ensure the integrity of our election systems.
The Secretary of State's Office has also been working cooperatively with Louisiana's Clerks of Court and Registrars of Voters to reassure voters and Election Day commissioners about machine security as well as registration data. As your secretary of state I addressed registrars during the annual Election Academy held in August and addressed the Louisiana Clerks of Court Association meeting in mid-September.
Voters should know their vote will count and should not be discouraged from participating. Voter fraud is no joking matter and executing a fair election is a job we all take very seriously as demonstrated by our processes which include back-ups and paper records which have proven valuable not only for security purposes but in times of disaster such as after Hurricane Katrina. Our systems are tested and we are on high alert for any irregularities which might be detected.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler
President of the Senate John Alario
Speaker of the House Taylor Barras
Senate Rep. Delegation Chair, Sen. Danny Martiny
House Rep. Delegation Chair, Rep. Lance Harris
Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, Chair Senate & Gov't Affairs Committee
Rep. Mike Danahay, Chair House & Governmental Affairs Committee
Senate Democratic Caucus Chair, Sen. Eric LaFleur
House Democratic Caucus Chair, Rep. Gene Reynolds
(© 2016 WWL)