In A Flash

Senate bill seeks to reduce governor’s power on election plans

By: - September 29, 2020 2:15 pm
Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin testifies in front of the House and Governmental Affairs Committee

Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin testifies in front of the House and Governmental Affairs Committee regarding his proposed emergency election plan on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Photo by Wes Muller/Louisiana Illuminator).

A bill filed Monday by Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, seeks to remove the governor’s veto authority on any future emergency election plans approved by the Louisiana Legislature.

Current state statute provides that the Secretary of State submits an emergency election plan to the Legislature. The Legislature then votes on it, and if it passes, the governor can either enact or veto it.

This summer Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, vetoed an emergency election plan approved by the majority Republican legislature because it made no allowances for the COVID-19 pandemic. A federal judge stepped in and force Louisiana to use an election plan more to Edwards’ liking.

Hewitt’s bill, SB 20, would take away the governor’s veto authority from that process and reduce his power to having a seat on a newly-established “Emergency Election Commission,” which would have 10 members — eight of whom would be legislators or their designees.

The bill must pass a Senate committee before the entire Senate can vote on it during the current special session.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Wesley Muller
Wesley Muller

Wes Muller traces his journalism roots to 1997 when, at age 13, he built a hyper-local news website for his New Orleans neighborhood. Since then, he has freelanced for the Times-Picayune and worked on staff at WAFB/CBS, the Sun Herald and the Enterprise-Journal, winning awards from the SPJ, Associated Press, Mississippi Press Association and McClatchy. He also taught English as an adjunct instructor at Baton Rouge Community College. Muller is a New Orleans native, Jesuit High School alumnus, University of New Orleans alumnus and a U.S. Army veteran and former paratrooper. He lives in Southeast Louisiana with his two sons and wife.