Tom Schedler, the Louisiana Secretary of State, said before the Abbeville Rotary Club meeting in a joint session on Wednesday that Louisiana leads the nation with the number of elections held for this, that or the other.
In one period he studied after taking office, the state held 70 regular or special elections, far more than any other state in the union, he noted.
“There are way too many elections in Louisiana and way too many ‘emergency elections’,” he said. “We need to think smarter. The state and local governments need to coordinate election days and share the costs with taxpayer dollars.”
According to Schedler, fewer elections would save the state “millions and millions of dollars”.
“This year, with an upcoming presidential election, I’m hoping for a 42 percent voter turnout in Louisiana,” he said. “ Even hot button issues with the public have not seen a high voter turnout.”
However, he said the problem is nationwide.
“U.S. voter turnout is an embarrassment. Shame on us for not exercising our right to vote.”
The secretary reminded his audience that the November general election is on a Tuesday and that lines will likely be long and slow at the peak voting periods -- before work, lunchtime and after work.
“If at all possible, I urge you to vote in the early voting period,” he said.
Early voters from Vermilion Parish cast their ballots in the courthouse in Abbeville.
Schedler said that he wanted to “put a face to the department” as the chief election officer for the state.