In A Flash

Louisiana’s top election official says holiday shopping makes December elections difficult

By: - December 17, 2021 8:00 am

(Photo by Hill Street Studios/Getty Images.)

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin wants to get rid of December elections because, he said, holiday shopping causes a severe shortage of delivery trucks that can transport voting machines. 

“December elections are almost becoming impossible,” Ardoin told the Louisiana House and Governmental Affairs Committee Thursday. “We’re competing with Amazon and FedEx to get trucks.”

Ardoin’s office recently facilitated the Dec. 11 elections for many municipal and parish races across the state, including the runoff elections for the New Orleans City Council and Orleans Parish sheriff. 

He described instances in which he came upon parking lots full of rental trucks only to discover they had been reserved far in advance of the holidays by retail companies who use shipping. . 

“We’ve got to find a way, and I know this is a big apple…we’ve got to get away from December elections,” Ardoin said.

Ardoin said he also expects the state to struggle with future fall elections, as hurricane seasons get more severe.

“Unless we decide to move all our elections to the spring, we’re always going to be in hurricane season, and from everything I read, it’s not necessarily going to get any better,” Ardoin said. “It’s only going to get worse. So we need to take that into consideration as we’re making reforms.”

“There’s no words to describe to you how difficult it was for (us) to overcome the effects of Hurricane Ida,” Ardoin said. “Within a few days of the election, we were still trying to find trucks to be able to deliver our voting machines.”

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Wesley Muller
Wesley Muller

Wes Muller traces his journalism roots back to 1997 when, at age 13, he built and launched a hyper-local news website for his New Orleans neighborhood. In the years since then, he has freelanced for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and worked on staff at the Sun Herald in Biloxi, WAFB-9News CBS in Baton Rouge, and the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi.