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Frequently Asked Questions After An Election

To learn what happens before an election, view Frequently Asked Questions Before an Election.

The commissioners announce that voting is terminated at 8 p.m. and any voter in line at 8 p.m. is allowed to vote. The commissioners are required to secure the voting machines in the presence of the watchers (if any) and leave the count on the voting machines in full view of the watchers. They cause each voting machine to produce a set of 4 identical official election results reports and they examine, sign and certify each set. If they need technical assistance in producing the official election results, they call the Clerk who provides technical assistance through the voting machine technicians.

The commissioners complete the machine certificates, sign them and sign and certify to the correctness of the duplicate poll lists. They announce the results of the election in the order of offices, candidates, and propositions listed on the ballot. They post the results of the election for public review at a conspicuous place at the polling place for public viewing. A machine certificate states that machines were secured against further voting, the exact time secured, the serial number on each voting machine, the number shown on the public counter of each machine and the number shown on the protective counter of each machine.

The commissioners complete in duplicate the payroll affidavit and place a duplicate and all duplicate records of challenges, precinct register corrections, voter identification affidavits, any physician’s certificates, and any address confirmation cards in the registrar of voters envelope, seal it and attach it to the precinct register and seal the precinct register.

The commissioners seal original precinct register corrections, challenges of voters, official election zero proof report, a copy of official election results reports, one duplicate poll list and a copy of the machine certificates in the put in voting machine envelope and place or attach to the precinct register. Finally, the commissioners lock the doors of the voting machines and seal the keys in the key envelope, signed by all commissioners. The commissioner-in-charge mails a copy of the paperwork to the secretary of state and delivers the originals and keys to the clerk of court, including the election result cartridges.

The voting machine data is read from the election result cartridge and transmitted immediately over a secure dedicated internal network (not the internet) to the secretary of state’s office. The results from the parish board’s counting of the absentee by mail and early voting totals are entered into the database by the clerk and transmitted just as the machine data is transmitted.
Election results are posted in real time as they are transmitted on the secretary of state’s office. Also, the clerk makes the election results available to the press and the public.
Machines remain sealed and are transported back to the voting machine warehouse no later than 48 hours after the polls close on election day.
Machines are opened the 3rd day after the election unless the election has been challenged in court and the court has ordered that the machines be opened at an earlier time. If the 3rd day is a holiday, the machines are opened the 2nd day following the election.
The clerk of court in the parish is responsible for opening the machines with the assistance of at least 1 member of the parish board of election supervisors.
The clerk of court is required to post in his or her office a notice of the time and place where the machines will be opened after the election, if no court has ordered an earlier opening. The general public and candidates or their representatives are welcome to view the opening as it is an open meeting.
The seals on the election day voting machines are broken and the public and protective counter numbers are recorded from each machine. The public counter number is the number of voters who voted on that machine during the election. The protective counter number is the number of votes received on the lifetime of that machine. The election results are then verified before the next machine is opened, but to facilitate the verification of election results, two or more voting machines may be opened simultaneously and the results verified.

Additionally, the sealed precinct registers are removed from the machine and immediately returned to the registrar of voters. The Put in Voting Machine envelope is removed and preserved unopened except upon court order or following the time to contest an election (9 days after the election). If an election contest suit is filed timely, the clerk continues to preserve these records unopened, subject to order of the court, until the final judgment.
The clerk, deputy clerk or other employees of his or her office, in the presence of the parish board of election supervisors or their representatives and the candidates or their representatives, verify the total votes cast for each candidate and the total votes cast for and against each proposition as shown on the voting machines or the voting machine election result sheets and the total number of absentee by mail and early voting votes cast for each candidate and the total number of absentee by mail and early voting votes cast for and against each proposition as shown by the tabulation blanks of absentee by mail and early voting votes filed with the clerk by the parish board. The machines votes cast are required to be shown separately by each precinct and the absentee by mail and early voting votes cast are required to be shown as the total number of votes cast for each candidate and the total number of votes cast for and against each proposition.
The candidates or their representatives are to be given a reasonable opportunity to inspect the machines. The process must remain open for at least 30 minutes from the time of opening to allow the general public and the candidates’ time to attend and inspect. For example, if the clerk sets the opening time at 10 a.m., then the earliest it can be concluded is 10:30 a.m., so as to allow a reasonable amount of time for public viewing.
Yes, the procedures to reinspect election day voting machines are outlined below.

A candidate may request the reinspection of voting machines by filing a written request with the clerk of court. The written request must be received by the clerk of court no later than the last working day prior to the date for inspection. This is the 4th day following the election.

The reinspection shall be held at 10:00 a.m. on the 5th day following the election and at any time ordered by a court. If the 5th day is a holiday, the reinspection shall be held on the following day at 10:00 a.m.

The clerk of court is required to post notice of time and date of reinspection and the candidate(s) requesting it in his or her office.

A candidate requesting reinspection is responsible for all reasonable costs associated with the reinspection, including but not limited to $50 to each member or authorized member’s designee of the parish board of election supervisors for attendance and responsibility of the reinspection. Reimbursement for attending may never exceed one meeting payment for all activities for the day.

The put in voting machine envelope contains:
  • the official election zero proof report for the machine;
  • one copy of the official election results reports from the machine;
  • one of the duplicate poll lists; and
  • a copy of the machine certificates.
After the commissioners take their oath at the beginning of election day and before the time for opening the polls, the commissioners, in the presence of the watchers (if any), prepare the polling place for voting. They compare the voting machine serial numbers on the machines with the numbers on the key envelope to make sure they match. They also compare the protective counter numbers on the key envelope with the protective counter numbers on the machines. Then they open the key envelope and open the door of each voting machine. When the polls are opened, the official election zero proof report will autmatically print.  The commissioner verifies that the time and date are correct on the report and verifies that there are zeros by each candidate or proposition listed. All commissioner must sign the report and post it at the entrance to the polling place.  
At the end of voting on election day, the commissioner closes the polls on each voting machine. The machine then automatically prints four identical official election results reports showing the votes for each candidate in each race and for each question on the ballot. All commissioners must sign and date all four results reports.
Two poll lists (one blue and one gold) are provided by the secretary of state in the election supplies for each precinct. Poll lists are blank booklets in which two commissioners write the names of every single voter that votes in the precinct. It is numbered consecutively from one (1) to the end. Periodically, the commissioners check the public counter numbers on the machines and the amount of voters on thier lists. These numbers must balance. 

The booklets also provide space in the back to record provisional voters in a federal election. Aslo, any irregularities that occurred during voting, such as a fled voter who fails to make at least one selection in the election before leaving the voting machine, should be recorded in the back under notation of irregularities.

After the election, the blue poll lists are delivered to the clerk of court. The gold poll lists go back to the secretary of state's office.
A machine certificate is a form that commissioners enter voting machine specific information on prior to voting and after the polls close.

Before voting begins, the commissioners must enter the following information on the certificate:
the exact time the keys to the machines were dlivered;
the serial number of each machine;
the seal number of  each blue results/audio cartridge;
the number shown on the protective counter on each machine; and
that the public counter on each machine is zero.

After voting has concluded, the commissioners must complete the certificate by filling in the following:
the exact time that the polls were closed;
the serial number of each machine;
the number shown on the protective counter on each machine; and
the public counter number on each machine (votes cast per machine).

All commissioners sign the completed form.
At the opening of the voting machines at the warehouse after the election, the clerk of court removes the envelope and its sealed contents and, except upon order of a court, will not allow them to be inspected by anyone until the delay for filing an action contesting any election to office has lapsed. If an action contesting any election to office is commenced timely, the clerk will continue to preserve these records inviolate, subject to the orders of the court, until the final judgment in the action has become devinitive.
The absentee by mail and early voting ballots may be recounted. A candidate may request the recount of absentee and early voting ballots by filing a written request with the clerk of court if the number of absentee and early voting ballots cast for all candidates for an office could make a difference in the outcome of the election. A candidate may also request the inspection of mail envelope flaps removed from the valid absentee by mail ballots and the flaps removed from the valid early voting ballots when paper ballots are used for early voting. Any written request must be received by the clerk of court no later than the last working day prior to the date for recount. This is the 4th day following the election.

The recount will be held at 10 a.m. on the 5th day following the election and at any time ordered by a court. If the 5th day is a holiday, the recount will be held on the following day at 10 a.m. The clerk of court is required to post notice of time and date of recount and the candidate requesting it in his or her office.

The candidate requesting the recount is responsible for all reasonable costs associated with the recount, including but not limited to $50 to each member or authorized member's designee of the parish board of election supervisors. Reimbursement for attending may never exceed one meeting payment for all activities for the day.

A qualified elector may bring an action objecting to the candidacy of a person who qualified as a candidate in a primary election for an office in which the plaintiff is qualified to vote. A candidate who alleges that, except for substantial irregularities or error, or except for fraud or other unlawful activities in the conduct of the election, he would have qualified for a general election or would have been elected may bring an action contesting the election.

See chapter 9 of the Louisiana Election Code for more information.
A person in interest may bring an action contesting any election in which any proposition is submitted to the voters if he alleges that except for irregularities or fraud in the conduct of an election the result would have been different.

See chapter 9 of the Louisiana Election Code for more information.
A qualified elector may bring an action objecting to the calling of a special election to fill a vacancy if he alleges that no special election should have been called or that the special election was called on an improper day.

See chapter 9 of the Louisiana Election Code for more information.
The Louisiana Election Code, R.S. 18:1401-1453, provides for the laws on contests and challenges to candidates qualifications and elections.
An action contesting any election involving election to office shall be instituted on or before 4:30 p.m. of the 9th day after the date of the election.
An action contesting an election on a proposed constitutional amendment shall be instituted not later than 4:30 on the 10th day after promulgation of the results of the election by the secretary of state.

An action contesting an election submitting a proposition to the voters, except constitutional amendments or the issuance of bonds or levying of a tax, shall be instituted not later than 4:30 p.m. of the 30th day after the official promulgation of the results of the election.

An action contesting an election on a bond or tax election shall be instituted not later than 4:30 p.m. of the 60th day after official promulgation of the results.

An action contesting the certification of a recall petition shall be instituted not later than 4:30 p.m. of the 15th day after the governor has issued the proclamation ordering the recall election or not later than 4:30 p.m. of the 15th day after the last day for the governor to call the election if no recall election is called.

An action objecting to the calling of a special election shall be instituted not later than 4:30 p.m. of the 14th day after the calling of the election.