2011 Louisiana Laws
TITLE 18 — Louisiana election code
RS 18:573 — Evidence of election results
§573. Evidence of election results
A. Opening the voting machines. (1) The voting machines used in a primary or general election shall remain locked or otherwise secured and, if applicable, sealed until the third day after the election unless the election is in judicial controversy and a court of competent jurisdiction has ordered the machines opened at an earlier time. However, if the third day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or other legal holiday, the machines shall be opened and, if applicable, the seals broken on the second day following the election.
(2) On the day immediately preceding the election, the clerk of court shall prominently post in his office a notice of the time and place where the voting machines will be opened after the election. If no order requiring an earlier opening has been issued, then at the time and place designated in the notice, the clerk of court, assisted by at least one member of the parish board of election supervisors, in the presence of the candidates or their representatives who desire to be present, shall open the voting machines and, if applicable, break the seals. Public and protective counter numbers shall be recorded. Verification of the election results on each machine, as provided for in Subsection B and subject to Subsection C of this Section, shall be completed before another machine is opened.
(3) Each voting machine shall be relocked or otherwise secured and, if applicable, resealed after the candidates or their representatives have had a reasonable opportunity to inspect the machine, which shall not be less than thirty minutes after the time designated for opening the machines by the clerk of court in the notice posted in his office. The clerk of court, in the presence of a majority of the parish board of election supervisors, shall reopen any voting machine for reinspection by a candidate or his representative after receipt of a written request for reinspection by the candidate. All reinspections shall be held at 10:00 a.m. on the fifth day after the election and at any time ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction. If the fifth day after the election falls on a holiday or weekend, such reinspection shall be held at 10:00 a.m. on the next working day. Any written request for reinspection of voting machines shall be filed with the clerk of court. The deadline for filing a request for reinspection shall be the last working day prior to the date of the reinspection. Immediately upon receiving any request, the clerk of court shall prominently post in his office a notice of the time and place where the voting machines will be reopened and the name of the candidate requesting that the machines be reopened. The candidate requesting the reinspection shall be responsible for all reasonable costs associated with such reinspection. The parish board of election supervisors shall be entitled to reimbursement for attending the reinspection at the rate established in R.S. 18:423(E); however, such reimbursement shall not be counted toward the six-day limitation provided in R.S. 18:423(E). If it is necessary to reopen a voting machine which has been relocked or otherwise secured and, if applicable, resealed to conduct a reinspection thereof, the clerk of court shall relock or otherwise secure and, if applicable, reseal the machine after the reinspection is completed.
(4) The vote totals shown on the machines shall be retained as provided in R.S. 18:1376.
B. Verification of election results. After the machines are opened, the clerk of court, in the presence of the parish board of election supervisors or the members of the board selected by the board as its representatives and the candidates or their representatives, shall immediately 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 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 of election supervisors. The machine votes cast shall be shown separately by each precinct, and the absentee by mail and early voting votes cast shall be shown as the total number of votes cast for each candidate and the total number of votes cast for and against each proposition.
C. The clerk of court may utilize deputy clerks and other employees of his office to assist him in opening the voting machines and verifying the election results as required in Subsections A and B of this Section. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the clerk from utilizing more than one team of his deputies or employees to perform the duties required of him. To facilitate the verification of election results, two or more voting machines may be opened simultaneously and the results thereon verified.
D. Preservation of election records. At the opening of the voting machines, the clerk of court shall immediately remove the envelope marked "Put in Voting Machine" and shall preserve the envelope and its contents inviolate and, except upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction, shall 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 shall continue to preserve these records inviolate, subject to the orders of the court, until the final judgment in the action has become definitive.
E. Transmission and disposition of duplicate challenges, duplicate voters' affidavits, and address confirmation cards.
(1) At the opening of the voting machines, the sealed precinct registers shall be immediately returned to the registrar of voters. Upon receipt of the sealed precinct registers, the registrar shall remove any attached duplicate record of challenges of voters made during the election, any duplicate voters' affidavits made pursuant to R.S. 18:562(B), and any address confirmation cards.
(2) The registrar shall utilize the procedures set forth in Part V of Chapter 4 of this Code to determine the validity of the registration of each challenged voter who did not submit an address confirmation card. In any instance where an address confirmation card was received that stated an address different from the address on file in the registrar's office for a registrant, the registrar shall change or cancel the registration. If an address confirmation card was received that affirmed the address on file in the registrar's office, the registrar shall reinstate the registrant to the official list of voters if he appears on the inactive list of voters. If the address confirmation card was a result of a valid challenge, the registrar shall so inform the district attorney and shall transmit to him the address confirmation card of that person.
(3) The registrar also shall proceed to determine if each voter submitting an affidavit attesting that he is a qualified registered voter and alleging an error or omission on the precinct register is in fact a registered voter qualified to vote in the election. If the registrar determines that any person who has voted in the election by virtue of his submission of such an affidavit was not a registered voter qualified to vote in the election, the registrar shall so inform the district attorney and shall transmit to him the affidavit of that person.
Acts 1976, No. 697, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1978, Amended by Acts 1977, No. 523, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1978; Acts 1978, No. 292, §1, eff. July 6, 1978; Acts 1980, No. 506, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; Acts 1981, No. 77, §1, eff. June 26, 1981; Acts 1983, No. 519, §1, eff. July 8, 1983; Acts 1984, No. 712, §1, eff. July 13, 1984; Acts 1988, No. 909, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 179, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1993, No. 418, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 10, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, No. 300, §1, eff. June 15, 1995; Acts 1997, No. 1420, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1999, No. 254, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2002, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 130, §1, eff. April 23, 2002; Acts 2005, No. 220, §4, eff. Jan. 1, 2006; Acts 2005, No. 431, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2006; Acts 2006, No. 403, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.
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