Louisiana state House to reconsider polling times
By Lauren Rodgers
BATON ROUGE, LA: The Louisiana Secretary of State is asking state lawmakers to shorten the number of hours Louisiana polling places are open on election day. Currently, poll times in Louisiana run from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm central time. (dead link) Secretary of State Tom Schedler, the state's chief election official, wants to push the start time back by an hour in order to shorten the work day for poll workers: "(Poll workers) typical have to be out there at 5:15 to 5:30 and don't get out until 9 or 9:30 if there are problems." Opponents argue the bill restricts the opportunity for Louisiana voters to cast their ballots.
The issue of shortening voting hours has been considered before by the state legislature and has never passed. The latest proposal, House Bill 209, is set to be taken up during the regular legislative session that begins on March 13 and has been provisionally referred to the House and Governmental Affairs Committee of the state House.