More than 43,000 people went to the polls for a Louisiana election. A candidate won by 1 vote

by Joshua Brown
Louisiana Election Recount

In Louisiana’s northwest, a sheriff candidate sought a recount on Wednesday, having lost by just one vote in an election where over 43,000 ballots were cast. The result underscores the significance of Louisiana’s recount procedures and the state’s reliance on outdated voting technology lacking a verifiable paper trail, deemed essential for accurate election outcomes. This aspect has gained prominence post the 2020 presidential election, which saw recounts in key states affirming President Joe Biden’s win.

John Nickelson, the Republican candidate who narrowly missed victory in Caddo Parish, emphasized the necessity of a manual recount on social media, citing the importance of upholding democratic integrity and honoring the electorate’s decision.

Henry Whitehorn, the victorious Democrat, has not yet commented on the recount request.

Mike Spence, Caddo’s Clerk of Court with 46 years of experience, noted the uniqueness of this close race given the large voter turnout. He expressed hope that this would illustrate to voters the significance of each ballot.

The scheduled recount on Monday will re-examine only absentee ballots, which make up roughly 17% of the runoff’s total votes. These are the only votes with a paper trail in Louisiana’s current system.

For in-person votes, which lack paper documentation, a recount is akin to a system re-check, as explained by David Becker, a former Justice Department attorney and current member of the Center for Election Innovation & Research. Despite pre- and post-election machine testing, Becker highlighted the limitations of recounting paperless votes.

Louisiana’s voting machines, purchased in 2005, are outdated and unique to the state. While election officials, including Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, assure the security of the state’s elections, the machines’ lack of a paper trail remains a point of contention.

The 2020 election demonstrated the importance of ballot recounts in states like Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In Georgia, officials reconfirmed their presidential election results following a recount. Georgia had recently transitioned from paperless machines to a system generating a paper ballot with a readable summary and QR code for vote counting.

Becker reflected on the potential implications if Georgia had retained digital machines in 2020.

While not a swing state, Louisiana’s election officials agree on the need for updated voting machines. Efforts to replace the current machines have been ongoing for five years, hindered by allegations of a biased bidding process.

Nancy Landry, the incoming Republican Secretary of State, has prioritized the implementation of a new voting system. However, she anticipates that new machines won’t be ready before the 2024 presidential election due to the extensive bidding and training process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Louisiana Election Recount

What prompted a recount request in the recent Louisiana sheriff election?

In the northwest corner of Louisiana, a candidate for parish sheriff requested a recount after losing by a single vote in an election with over 43,000 ballots cast.

Why is the Louisiana recount process under scrutiny?

The recount process in Louisiana is drawing attention due to the use of outdated voting machines that do not provide a verifiable paper trail, which is considered crucial for ensuring the accuracy of election results.

Who are the candidates involved in the Louisiana sheriff runoff?

The candidates involved are John Nickelson, the Republican candidate who lost by one vote, and Henry Whitehorn, the Democrat who won the sheriff runoff.

What is the significance of absentee ballots in the Louisiana election recount?

In the recount, only absentee ballots, which constitute about 17% of the total vote in the runoff, will be re-tallied. These are the only ballots with an auditable paper trail in Louisiana’s current voting system.

How does Louisiana’s voting machine technology compare to other states?

Louisiana’s voting machines, purchased in 2005, are outdated and unique in being the only statewide use of paperless touch screen technology, lacking a paper trail for vote verification.

What are the challenges in implementing new voting machines in Louisiana?

Efforts to replace Louisiana’s current voting machines have been delayed for five years due to allegations of a biased bidding process, and new machines are not expected to be in place before the 2024 presidential election.

More about Louisiana Election Recount

  • Louisiana Election Recount Details
  • Voting Machine Controversy in Louisiana
  • Caddo Parish Sheriff Race Update
  • Absentee Ballots in Louisiana Elections
  • Louisiana’s Outdated Voting Technology
  • Challenges in Louisiana Voting System Update

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SarahBee November 23, 2023 - 2:39 am

It’s 2023, why are we still using these old voting machines? get with the times Louisiana…

TechGuy90 November 23, 2023 - 5:02 am

outdated tech in elections is a recipe for disaster. Look at Georgia’s upgrade, Louisiana needs to catch up!

LindaK November 23, 2023 - 9:38 am

seriously, a recount just for one vote? seems a bit much, but then again, it’s politics. nothing surprises me anymore.

ElectionWatcher November 23, 2023 - 3:58 pm

Absentee ballots only 17% of the vote? that’s not a lot, wonder if it’ll even make a difference in the recount.

Greg_H November 23, 2023 - 9:27 pm

Henry Whitehorn not commenting yet, hmm… makes you think what’s going on behind the scenes

MikeJ_1987 November 23, 2023 - 11:06 pm

can’t believe it was such a close race! really shows every vote counts, right?


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