When local governments developed new election districts after the 2010 Census, they drew so many small precincts that it forced the state to purchase additional voting machines and limit the number of machines at each precinct. Secretary of State Tom Schedler said Wednesday that local governments went overboard. “We have precincts with one voter,” Schedler told a joint meeting of the House and Senate Governmental Affairs committees. “Several have three or four.” In Lincoln Parish, local officials increased the number of voting precincts from 42 to 102. “There’s no way the population doubled,” Schedler said. “It’s just out of control,” said Sen. Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe, reacting to Schedler’s report.
The abundance of new precincts forced the purchase of 100 new voting machines, said Commissioner of Elections Angie Rogers. In the next election, 39 parishes where 399 precincts are located will have only one voting machine each. The precincts will have paper ballots on hand in case a machine malfunctions. Schedler’s office usually has a standby machine located at each precinct in case of breakdown.