In an opinion piece here on The Hayride last week, Jeff Crouere serves up a compliment sandwich directed at the Louisiana Secretary of State. If you are unfamiliar with the term, a compliment sandwich is an attempt to wrap something unpleasant in what may otherwise sound like praise. I write today to provide a response on behalf of our office and set the record straight.
Mr. Crouere attempts to suggest to the reader that four randomly selected precincts that President Trump lost by a large margin in Jefferson Parish provide some insight to a greater issue, while never reviewing the actual demographics of these precincts. In fact, Crouere states “Of course, to repeat, I have no proof that a ratio of 58 to 1 was produced by shenanigans at the precinct level, but any objective observer would have to concede that these vote totals are quite remarkable.” Yes Jeff, they do seem remarkable, right up until you look at the make-up of these four precincts in November, 2020 and the outcome is obvious.
Jefferson Parish Precinct 154:
- 1,354 Registered Voters
- 1,060 Dem – 32 GOP – 262 Other Party Registration
- 1,305 Black – 7 White – 42 Other
Jefferson Parish Precinct 180:
- 1,151 Registered Voters
- 897 Dems – 24 GOP – 230 Other Party Registration
- 1,118 Black – 4 White – 29 Other
Jefferson Parish Precinct 108:
- 574 Registered Voters
- 413 Dem – 15 GOP – 146 Other Party Registration
- 544 Black – 10 White – 20 Other
Jefferson Parish Precinct 153:
- 1,474 Registered Voters
- 1,118 Dems – 32 GOP – 324 Other Party Registration
- 1,401 Black – 6 White – 67 Other
Given that Mr. Crouere spends many hours every day talking on the radio, filming cable programs and writing about our political landscape, and especially in consideration of his part-time role as a political consultant, this would seem like malpractice to many – except that this isn’t designed to inform, it’s intended to inflame. Even when writing your opinions, you still have a duty to access the facts and Mr. Crouere hasn’t called me or my office for a single bit of data this year.
Louisiana’s elections are a model for other states to follow. Here are the facts.
Louisiana does a full and complete reconciliation (audit) of voting totals down to the individual voting machine counts in each parish before certifying the results.
Louisiana is vastly different from many states in that we are a top-down state; the Secretary of State’s office only programs, handles, stores, and maintains every voting machine, whether for early voting or Election Day. Every part of the process regarding our voting machines is done by our trained staff and not by outside vendors or third-party technicians. The issues that are so inflammatory in other states were brought about by counties or individual municipalities’ procedural and operational failures in the November presidential election, a phenomenon that is prevented by statute in the Pelican State.
Before each election, every machine undergoes a test and seal process in an open and transparent public meeting, conducted by each parish board of election supervisors, made up of the Parish Clerk of Court (or designee), parish Registrar of Voters (or designee), a member of the Republican Party Parish Executive Committee, a member of the Democratic Party Parish Executive Committee and a gubernatorial appointee. This bipartisan board oversees that every machine is operating properly and counting votes without error or issue.
Over 2.1 million Louisiana voters made their voices heard in the 2020 Presidential Election. With more than 70% of all registered voters participating in the election either through early voting, absentee voting, or Election Day voting.
The Trump/Pence ticket received 1,255,776 votes in Louisiana, to Biden/Harris’ 856,034 votes. A margin of victory of 58%/40%. As such, the Trump/Pence ticket was awarded all of Louisiana’s electoral college votes.
On Election Day, voting went smoothly, an accurate count was performed promptly, and all results were uploaded just after midnight.
Last, I’ll accept one aspect of Jeff’s flawed premise: we do need more people involved in the process at the precinct level to ensure good and legal outcomes. If you would like to become a poll commissioner, please contact your parish Registrar or call (800) 883-2805.
John W. Tobler
Deputy Secretary of State
Communications, Outreach and Promotions