Friday, 12 October 2018 02:20

Business of Louisiana Secretary of State race hangs by a chad

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Special statewide elections in Louisiana are only a few weeks away. At the top of the ballot on November 6th will be an office second in line to the governorship. A number of the candidates are harping on the same theme. Each wants to be the business development voice of the state. Will the Governor let that happen? Fat chance.




The Secretary of State does have, under current law, some business duties. But the office serves primarily in that capacity as the filer and record keeper of corporations and partnerships. How can we gently say this....a glorified clerk of court. It would take a benevolent governor to turn over business development responsibility to another statewide official.

So just what should these candidates be talking about? Yes, there are some real problems to address. Here’s the list.

Voting Machines. All over the country, concerns are being raised over new electronic voting machines. Many critics say these machines are riddled with security leaks and are ripe for computer hackers to change numbers without elections officials knowing anything about it. And what abo

ut backup? Many machines in use have no paper backup to verify correct totals. Yet so far, those who seek the office to oversee this process have been mute in discussing the implications of election fraud. Checks and balances should certainly be an election debate subject. The bottom line is that there has to be some type of paper ballot backup.  

There is no necessity for new expensive voting machines. The more sophisticated the machines  are, the more likely that they can be hacked. The key, as obsolete as it seems, is to have a paper trail.Yes, it’s the 21st century, but the best protection against voter fraud is probably using 1stcentury technology – PAPER.

Voting Fraud-The days of blatant and widespread voter fraud has been greatly curtailed, although not eliminated. President Trump has alleged prevalent voter fraud, and this certainly raises the concerns of many voters. Here’s what the President said after his 2016 victory.  “ It tells you what a crooked system we have and what a rotten political system we have. I won Louisiana, but what’s going on is a disgrace.” In the 1980s, Louisiana created an Elections Integrity Commission. To put voter’s minds at ease, the new Secretary of State might consider reestablishing this commission.

Mandatory Voting? There are proposals being floated around to make voting mandatory, saying if jury service is required, why not voting? Are disinterested voters all that big of a problem? Some might argue that not voting is a protest against the choices being offered. How about offering an additional choice of “none of the above?” Some states actually allow such an option on the ballot. So candidates, tell us how you feel about forcing us to vote, or giving voters the option of voting against every candidate on the ballot?

Protecting Louisiana’s heritage. -The Bayou State has the richest heritage of any state in the nation. The job of the State Archives is to protect and share our history.  The present Archives Building in the country’s finest. No other state comes close. (Disclaimer-It was built under the administration of some guy named Brown who was Secretary of State back in the 1980s.) What will each candidate do, if elected, to protect the state’s important documents relating to the state’s history?  And what about the ten local museums around the state that are managed by the Secretary of State? How does each candidate propose to keep these museums open in light of the state’s fiscal problems?

Finally, I hope every candidate will commit to finding the Great Seal of Louisiana. The state constitution specifically directs the Secretary of State to be the keeper of the Great Seal.  I looked all over for it during the eight years I held this office, and never could find it. A major investigation must might be necessary to locate it. After all, how can a state exist without a Great Seal.

Some would argue Louisiana does not need to elect its Secretary of State.  Twelve other states have the office appointed by either the governor or the state legislature.  And that seems to be the growing trend.  The newly elected Secretary of State obviously needs to hit the ground running.  After all, this is just a special election. And guess what? The winner will have to do it all over again in less than a year.


Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at  You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at

Read 2368 times Last modified on Monday, 17 December 2018 19:08
Jim Brown

Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.

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