Michael Lunsford, executive director of Citizens for a New Louisiana, prides himself on #winning and #persistence. However, he recently appeared for the first meeting of the Voting System Commission, as the appointee of Attorney General Jeff Landry, and fresh from a loss at trying to have a book removed from the Lafayette Public Library. His “winning” streak resumed at week’s end, with David Cheramie’s resignation as CEO of the Bayou Vermilion District, following nearly a year of behind-the-scenes advocacy by Lunsford’s group.

But let us all hope that Lunsford does not persist and win at his latest project at the VSC. About halfway through the meeting, after a presentation had mentioned the important role played by poll workers in our election process, Lunsford asked whether poll workers might be subjected to drug, credit and criminal background checks, opining that credit checks might be especially “telling.”

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin seemed skeptical about conducting drug, credit and criminal background checks on all 18,000 poll workers who typically serve in a major election. Lunsford’s proposal was also met with nervous laughter and murmurs of concern by Louisiana residents in attendance. (Lunsford also proposed having cameras set up at the precincts to surveil the vote.)

These proposals by Lunsford, whose major qualification for the VSC appears to be having attended a “cyber symposium” conference hosted by “My Pillow Guy” Mike Lindell, need to be seen for what they are: a brazen attack on our electoral system.

Poll workers are typically highly patriotic and democratically minded people who serve the public year after year. Elections officials around the country have struggled to recruit workers due to COVID-19 and post-election threats. The election system cannot do without them, and they do not deserve Lunsford’s insult.

M. CHRISTIAN GREEN

scholar

Lafayette