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/LA 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.
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