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Thousands of Louisiana voters did not receive mail-in ballots; LDP says they will take legal action against the Secretary of State

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 11:23 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Nearly 100,000 voters mailed in their choices on Saturday, July 11.

“We got a letter from the Secretary of State saying because of the virus and because we are senior adults, they were encouraging us to fill out these forms and then vote by mail,” said Robert Benedict.

Benedict says he normally votes in person in East Baton Rouge Parish but wanted to be cautious during the pandemic.

“I waited but we never got any actual ballots, so like we normally do we went to the polls and voted,” said Benedict.

The Secretary of State’s office said its have received multiple complaints from people who did not get a mail-in ballot. In Orleans Parish alone, reports show 4,000 ballots never made it to voters’ homes.

“It’s not the voters’ fault if the registrar sent it late, if the Secretary of State processes them late, if the mail was late,” said Mandie Landry, State Representative for District 91.

Landry joined other members of the Louisiana Democratic Party; they are planning to file suit against the Secretary of State’s office.

“Ultimately, it is the Secretary of State. It is his job to ensure voting and elections are fair and safe, and we all knew that this was going to be an issue this year. We’ve seen it happen around the country, and we really feel like there were not enough precautions and not enough communication in place,” Landry said.

The Secretary of State’s office says they are not responsible for mail-in ballots. The Registrar of Voters oversees how and when ballots are sent out. Poll Analyst John Couvillion says it is an issue that needs attention.

“Like in Orleans Parish where I think it was like 4,000 votes were not properly delivered. So, that is an ongoing concern and that is one of the less-than-advantageous aspects of mail-in voting that I don’t think has really been covered a lot yet,” said Couvillion.

“I’m just going to go in person next time unless I get something from the Secretary of State that enables us to be sure that our ballots get counted and that all ballots do get there,” said Benedict.

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