In A Flash

Sex offenders could be banned as election commissioners

By: - January 24, 2023 8:00 am
A sign directors voters to a polling place at Edward Hynes Charter School in New Orleans' Lakeview neighborhood

A sign directs voters to a polling place at Edward Hynes Charter School in New Orleans’ Lakeview neighborhood on Nov. 8, 2022. (Greg LaRose/Louisiana Illuminator)

The Louisiana Legislature could consider a proposal to ban sex offenders from working as election commissioners. While voters who are sex offenders must cast absentee ballots if their precinct is located at a school, there currently is no such prohibition in place for polling precinct workers.

The State Board of Election Commissioners issued an official recommendation Monday to forward a draft bill to the Louisiana Legislature that would put the ban in place. Lawmakers will convene April 10 for this year’s regular session.

Board member Robin Hooter, the clerk of court for Rapides Parish, said parents are often encouraged to bring their children to vote so they can learn about the election process. This is why the prohibition on sex offenders as election commissioners is needed at all polling places, not just schools, she said.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, who chairs the state board, said he has heard of some school teachers who award extra credit to students who accompany their parents to vote.

An official with the Secretary of State’s office told the board Monday there have been instances where sex offenders have worked as election commissioners, but he did not indicate how many or where they worked.

Sex offenders and child predators in Louisiana are required to register with Louisiana State Police, which maintains a database the public can access. Local election officials will be expected to ensure no sex offenders are hired as polling place commissioners.


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Greg LaRose
Greg LaRose

Greg LaRose has covered news for more than 30 years in Louisiana. Before coming to the Louisiana Illuminator, he was the chief investigative reporter for WDSU-TV in New Orleans. He previously led the government and politics team for The Times-Picayune |, and was editor in chief at New Orleans CityBusiness. Greg's other career stops include Tiger Rag, South Baton Rouge Journal, the Covington News Banner, Louisiana Radio Network and multiple radio stations.