Louisiana voters claim they did not receive mail-in ballots they requested; LDP planning legal action

Updated: Jul. 13, 2020 at 9:36 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.

In Orleans Parish alone, reports show four-thousand request for mail in-ballots were held at post office for an unknown time.

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

“It’s not the voters’ fault if the registrar sent it late if Secretary of State process 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, 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 by law 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.

A spokesperson with the Secretary of State’s Office tells WAFB there is no record of request from Benedict for a mail-in ballot. The East Baton Rouge Registrar of Voters says there have been no widespread complaints for the parish.

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