Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler expressed concern Monday morning over New Jersey’s weekend announcement it would be allowing those displaced by Hurricane Sandy to vote online. “Quite frankly, I don’t think we’re there yet,” Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler told press assembled in Baton Rouge this morning. Referring to New Jersey’s recent announcement the state will allow displaced citizens to vote by email or fax as “overseas voters,” Schedler added “I’m very concerned about the methodology.”
The new directive, announced Saturday by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration, said displaced voters must request a ballot over email or fax from their county clerk. Once approved, the ballot will be sent back via email or fax and must be completed and turned in by Nov. 6 at 8 p.m.
“I’m very concerned about the methodology,” Schedler said in reference to New Jersey’s decision to allow displaced citizens to vote by email and fax. “This has been an extraordinary storm that has created unthinkable destruction across our state and we know many people have questions about how and where to cast their vote in Tuesday’s election. To help alleviate pressure on polling places, we encourage voters to either use electronic voting or the extended hours at county offices to cast their vote,” New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagn said in a statement posted on line.
However, Schedler expressed concern over the move, and said Louisiana has faced similar problems with voting in the aftermath of a hurricane without resorting to these methods. “Each state has the right” to determine their voting laws, Schedler said Monday, but “I think we’re a long, long way from [online voting].”
“I don’t really support that option,” he told NOLA.com, adding he thought it opened up the state to lawsuits based on claims of voter fraud. “Personally, I think there are options you can choose before that.” He added if any group would currently be a viable option for online voting, it would be the military, who can already sign into a secure network confirmed by military identification. But Schedler said he believed the method could not yet be fully monitored for the wider population.