Board of Election Supervisors

The Board of Election Supervisors is an independent unit of parish government. The Attorney General is its attorney and legal advisor.

I.  Powers

Parish boards of election supervisors are statutorily created in the Election Code, in LSA-R.S. 18:423.  The purpose of the board in each parish is to oversee and supervise all elections within the parish to ensure the safety and accuracy of the democratic process. The Board of Election Supervisors oversees the preparation and conducting of each election in the parish.

By statute the members are:

  • The Clerk of Court or designee
  • Registrar of Voters or designated sworn Deputy Registrar
  • Chairman of the Lafayette Parish Democratic Executive Committee or designee of that Chairman
  • Chairman of the Lafayette Parish Republican Committee or designee of that Chairman
  • Governor of Louisiana’s appointee as confirmed by the Senate

The Board of Election Supervisors elects its president for 4 years between the date of the Governor’s elections and that July.

 The Board of Election Supervisors follows many regulations:

  • Louisiana Board of Election Supervisor’s Handbook: Duties and Responsibilities (Secretary of State’s Office)
  • Election Code
  • Rulings of the Attorney General’s office
  • West’s Louisiana Statutes
  • Annotated or LexisNexis Louisiana Annotated Statutes
  • Precinct Handbook, Louisiana Office of Secretary of State

 At least 7 public meetings of the Board of Election Supervisors are scheduled, set, and publicized in advance by statute in relation to the election schedule.

 II.  Services

Selecting commissioners

  • Commissioners in charge
  • Commissioners for each precinct (one-year term)
  • Early voting commissioners and alternates
  • Commissioners for absentee by mail voting

Protecting Voting Machines

  • Seal early voting machines prior to the conduct of early voting
  • Generate a zero tally for each machine before the Clerk of Court seals it
  • Assist Clerk of Court in opening the voting machines
  • Observe the verification of the votes and compile the election returns

Completing Election Returns

  • Count the provisional ballots in federal elections
  • Complete the compilation of election returns and file the compiled statement with the Clerk of Court and Secretary of State
  • Tabulate and count absentee by mail ballots and early voting ballots on Election Day
  • Review registration documentation for provisional ballots to determine whether the person is eligible to vote

Re-inspecting machines and/or recounting ballots, under these circumstances

  • Upon request of a candidate in writing, and if the number of absentee by mail and early voting ballots cast for all candidates for an office could make a difference in the outcome of the election
  • If ordered by court

Other

  • Issue commissions to watchers for candidates and provide each precinct with a list of the poll watchers and alternate watchers
  • Address the need for more or fewer voting machines with notification Clerk of Court and the Secretary of State

 III.  Money

The Department of State (Secretary of State) reimburses the expenses of the Clerk of Court, Registrar of Voters, or the Parish Board of Election Supervisors.  Funding comes from the Secretary of State.  A federal election in Lafayette Parish costs about $90,000.  The amount budgeted by the Secretary of State varies per year depending on the number and type of elections held.


Sources

Website, Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court

Interviews:  Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court
                       Lafayette Parish Registrar of Voters

Parish Board of Election Supervisor’s Handbook, Louisiana Office of Secretary of State

“Governor Bobby Jindal Announces the Appointment of Merlin Leger to the Lafayette Parish Board of Election Supervisors,” press release, Office of the Governor, March 11, 2010

Rule, Department of State Elections Division: Election Expense Reimbursement (LAC 31:I, Chapter 7) adopted by Secretary of Supervisors,” press release, Office of the Governor, March 11, 2010

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