I have worked as an election commissioner in Baton Rouge for over 10 years and regret the problems that two voters reported having on the Nov. 4 election. We, as sworn commissioners, are mandated by state law to follow a set protocol. Letters from Stephanie Lintern and Glen Wesley reflected complaints that fell within the laws of our state constitution.
Specifically for Lintern, who reported not having enough time to vote: By law, we are required to post sample ballots outside and inside of the polling place. It is an exact duplicate of what’s seen in the voting booth. There is no time limit for anyone wanting to read and make their decisions prior to entering the booth and casting their ballot. Obviously, this being a federal election, with many amendments, voting times were longer, but I found our voters to be mostly prepared and had no problem casting their ballot within three minutes.
I’m sorry your doctor friend was asked to leave; however, the commissioners were following the law. Some polling places had poll watchers during this election, and I would hate to see an entire election being brought into question if laws were broken.
Specifically for Wesley, who reported not being able to vote: With all due respect, I really hope you were not denied the right to vote. All commissioners went to special training for provisional voting. This should have been readily available for you, with your wife’s assistance, to fill out and cast your vote. I am sorry this option was not made available to you. I work the sign-in book at my precinct and there is a column for needs assistance.
Even a doctor’s note brought with you to your voting place would have allowed your wife to assist you with casting your ballot. Once this is received, even at the polling place and sent for you to the clerk of court, it’s then put in the book and you should never encounter any further problems.
I regret the problem you had. Thank you for honoring our right to vote and your service to our country.
retired GIS analyst