Do you feel Louisiana has too many election dates during the year and if so, do you plan on eliminating some of them?
Yes. I already have proposed eliminating the July election date and will advocate this during the next legislative session.
Wat ideas do you have to help increase voter turnout for elections?
As a senator, I passed legislation to implement a pilot program to expand early voting locations. I believe this will increase turnout and make voting more accessible and convenient for the public. Last year, I recommended to the legislature that we add an extra day of early voting. The legislature concurred and we now have early voting on two Saturdays, as well as Monday through Friday. I have been speaking about the relatively low turnout in special elections and encouraging people to exercise their right to vote. I believe this advocacy, as well as the voter registration and turnout efforts of my staff, are important elements of increasing turnout.
How widespread do you feel voter fraud is in the state? If you feel it's a problem, do you have any plans for addressing it?
Voter fraud is no longer widespread in Louisiana. It certainly was in days gone by, but our present system allows much greater control over voting machines and allows my office to be responsible for safeguarding their security. We have a very aggressive election compliance unit, which responds to any allegation or suspicion of voter fraud. Although the three people in this unit do an outstanding job, my hope is to expand this program to make certain that we can address any such problem.
Two years after the hurricanes, many people who have moved from the state are still registered to vote here. Should people who moved away from the state two years ago still be eligible to vote in Louisiana?
People who have left Louisiana involuntarily and who have not registered to vote in another state should remain eligible to vote. The legislature will have to make a policy decision as to whether it wants to authorize my office and the registrars of voters to implement any plan to remove individuals from the rolls if they have been gone for a particular period of time. This issue must be considered in light of the relatively slow results of the Road Home Program. If individuals have not chosen to register in their new place of residence, they have evidenced a desire to want to return to Louisiana. In this case, they should be allowed to vote either in person or by absentee ballot. Individuals who have registered to vote in a new state should be removed from our rolls and I have taken steps to make certain that this happens.