GOP groups meet with secretary of state

Published 5:35 am Friday, April 28, 2017

By Joannie Miller

For The Daily News

The Republican Women of Franklinton (RWF), Washington Republican Parish Executive Committee (WRPEC) and Washington Parish Republican Women (WPRW) had the distinct pleasure of meeting with Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler last week.

Schedler has been the secretary of state since 2010. He has worked to streamline and update the voting processes, resulting in a more efficient and effective experience for both voters and taxpayers.

Schedler spoke primarily on four topics — the first was voter fraud. He stated this primarily involves the rolls, versus what happens in the voting booth. He recently testified before Congress, noting that the Russians could not have “hacked” our recent election, because voting is not on the internet or in the cloud. Instead, he said it is a closed system within each booth or machine, or in some states, a paper ballot. Therefore, there is no way to “hack” our elections.

Schedler has made it a priority of reducing the number of special elections in Louisiana to preserve limited tax dollars. Louisiana had twice as many elections as compared to neighboring states over a five-year period, and so Schedler sought new laws to save taxpayer dollars and increase the relevance of the scheduled elections. There are now only four times a year an election can be held.

Louisiana has the third-highest voter registration in the nation, with approximately 84 percent of eligible voters registered. Improving voter registration and participation through technology has been one of Schedler’s goals. The nationally recognized GeauxVote Mobile app for smartphones allows citizens to check their voter registration status, review their individualized ballot in preparation for voting, and locate their voting precinct using their smart phone. Louisiana is the first state in the nation to use this technology.

Schedler accepted the 2013 National Association of Secretaries of State IDEAS Award for the app, which recognized innovation, dedication, excellence and achievement in state member programming.

Enhancing services in the Commercial Division, Schedler worked to expand for businesses wanting to file corporate forms electronically.   The geauxBIZ Portal saves small businesses time and money, while improving the operations of the Secretary of State’s Office.

Following the meeting, members of WRPEC and WPRW had lunch with Secretary Schedler at Café Bouché.

Joanie Miller is president of the Washington Parish Republican Women.