Every once-in-awhile what is considered the omnibus elections bill presented each regular session to the Louisiana Legislature contains something significant to the way in which elections are conducted in the state. Most years it only makes technical and procedural changes that significantly alters things little. But this time out, one of these minor changes may have big ramifications to an important special interest that has nothing to do with elections.
Tucked away in this year’s version, which comes as a product of the State Board of Election Supervisors, among the roughly three dozen measures expected to be written into bill form and introduced is one that would drop the requirement that the names of inactive voters – those who have registration addresses not able to be verified by registrars of voters during the annual canvass or whose correspondence sent to the address on file was returned undeliverable – be published 90 days prior to federal primary elections. The purpose of this is every two years for the state to alert these voters that they would have to go through additional hurdles in order to vote unless they provide address verification.
Instead, the state argues that the online listing, where a voter may enter their names to see whether they have been put on inactive status which is never more than a day old, should suffice. It also would save, according to the last available statistics, for all parishes $200,000 in off-election years and $375,000 in presidential election years.