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Secretary of State responds to governor's disapproval of emergency election plan

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Posted at 7:38 AM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 08:38:46-04

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin has responded to Governor Edwards' who voiced his disapproval of Ardoin's emergency election plan on Tuesday.

The Governor signed an executive order declaring that an emergency exists for Louisiana's November election because of COVID-19 but says Ardoin's plan doesn't go far enough to protect public health.

"I want to be crystal clear: you should not mistake me declaring an emergency for this election as approving of the Secretary of State's election plan, because I do not," the governor said in a released statement. "I believe that we need emergency procedures in place for this election. I do not believe the Secretary of State's current plan goes far enough, because it does not take into account the seriousness of this global pandemic and the health and safety of the voters. Simply put: voting should not be a super spreader event."

The emergency declaration, which must be requested by the Secretary of State and granted by the Governor, allows the state to move forward with emergency plans to support the election and take into account health and safety issues that might affect voting.

Secretary of State Ardoin issued a statement of his own on Tuesday night saying that he will not be altering the plan he submitted to the governor.

"The plan the governor prefers was developed under a stay-at-home-order; our state is currently in phase two. I negotiated the best possible plan that could pass the legislative committees, and if this issue must be resolved in the courts, I hope any ruling would include the critical mechanisms our office needs to administer the election," Ardoin said.

Without the Governor's approval, the Secretary of State's plan cannot be implemented, even with Legislative approval, according to the governor's office.

The Governor says he does not support the Secretary of State's plan because it does not follow guidance from public health officials and does not provide for absentee mail-in voting options for people who are at high risk for suffering serious issues relating to COVID-19, those who have been exposed and are in quarantine and those who are caregivers for immunocompromised individuals.

Edwards' also discussed the issue during a press conference on Tuesday. Read more about that press conference and watch the presser, here.

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