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MONITORING AN ELECTION

Louisiana has a statewide voting system. AVC Advantage machines are used for Election Day voting, and AVC Edge machines are used for early voting. All Election Day machines are tested by certified technicians of the secretary of state's office prior to every election in each parish and then the voting machines are sealed for use in the election by the parish board of election supervisors in each parish. Testing and sealing is open to the public in each voting machine warehouse in each parish. For information on the testing and sealing of voting machines prior to Election Day, please contact your parish clerk of court. All early voting machines are tested and sealed prior to every early voting period in each parish registrar of voters office. For information on the testing and sealing of voting machines prior to early voting, please contact your parish registrar of voters.

Poll Watchers for Candidates and Propositions

Louisiana law (La R.S. 18:427, La R.S. 18:435La R.S. 18:1486) states that each candidate in an election is entitled to have one watcher at every precinct where the office they seek is on the ballot in a primary or general election. In addition to watchers and alternate watchers per precinct, each candidate may designate one watcher as a super watcher who can be admitted in every precinct in the candidate's election at the same time as either the watcher or alternate watcher who is serving for the candidate. Any person who is supporting or opposing a proposition (including the recall of a public officer) and who has filed a report required by La R.S. 18:1486 (Campaign Finance Disclosure Act) is entitled to have one watcher at every precinct in which the proposition is on the ballot. Federal monitors and court-ordered monitors are subject to these guidelines.

View and print a poll watchers pamphlet to learn about the commissioning of watchers by the parish board of election supervisors, the qualifications of watchers, their powers and duties and their Election Day procedures. View and print a list of watchers form.

The candidate shall file one list of watchers with the clerk of court by hand delivery, facsimile, mail, or commercial courier before 4:30 p.m. on the 10th day before any primary or general election. If the 10th day prior to the election falls on a Saturday, Sunday or other legal holiday, the list shall be filed on the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or other legal holiday.

A candidate’s list of watchers may be filed by the candidate’s authorized representative with a letter of authorization from the candidate; however, the list of watchers must be signed by the candidate. Any person filing a list of watchers for a proposition or recall election must attach a certified statement that the report required by La R.S. 18:1486 has been filed with the division of campaign finance.

If a candidate submits a list for a primary election and does not submit a list for the general election, the list submitted for the primary election may be used for the general election only if the candidate notifies the clerk of court in writing by 4:30 p.m. on the tenth day before the general election that he wants to use the same list of watchers. A list of watchers shall contain only one watcher and one alternate watcher for each precinct where the candidate is entitled to have a watcher. In addition to watchers and alternate watchers per precinct, each candidate may designate one watcher as a super watcher.

The list shall be submitted on a form provided by the secretary of state which is available from the clerk of court, or typed or legibly written on a form which contains the same information. The list shall contain the name and mailing address of each watcher and alternate watcher, and a designation of the precinct where they are to serve.

Presidential Election Watcher List

The state central committee of each recognized political party is responsible for filing the watcher list for its slate of candidates for presidential elector. The list of watchers must be signed by the chairman of the state central committee. The list of watchers for an independent or other party slate of candidates for presidential elector shall be signed and filed by any person so authorized by the presidential candidate supported by the slate of electors. A letter of authorization from the presidential candidate, or an authorized agent of their campaign, shall accompany the list.

It is not necessary to submit the certified statement that the report has been filed with the division of campaign finance.