In Louisiana, Jefferson Parish Registrar of Voters Dennis DiMarco is being investigated for having a private voting machine in his office. DiMarco claims that the it was used solely for the convenience of persons he deemed important enough that they should not wait in line like everyone else to vote.
DiMarco told local WWL-TV, “It’s really a convenience for those whose time is, for lack of a better word, maybe more valuable than others.” Denying any criminal activity, DiMarco continued, Saying, “This was not a way of allowing a fraudulent vote or anything like that. It was merely a convenience for people that we feel and the law allows the privilege to go to the head of the line.”
Despite DiMarco’s citing of law, the private voting machine has been seized by the office of Louisiana’s Secretary of State. The machine was reportedly kept in DiMarco’s private conference room. A local attorney alerted the Secretary of State of the practice. Attorney Robert Evans admitted that he had used the private machine to vote in this year’s presidential election, but found the practice troubled him. He decided to report it to the Secretary of State’s office.
Evans told WWL-TV that DiMarco's staff escorted him to a secret room where there were two private voting machines, not available to the public. Evans continued, “How he uses these machines when the court’s closed and the people aren’t around?”
Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler sent a letter to DiMarco in which he acknowledged a complaint. When he seized the voting machine, Schedler said in a missive to DiMarco, “Action is necessary to preserve the integrity of early voting and to promote confidence within the general public regarding the voting process.” 
More than 366,644 voters have already cast their ballots in Louisiana with a week remaining in the election cycle. Today was the last day for early voting in Louisiana. More voters have cast ballots as of October 29 than in the entire week of early voting in the 2012 presidential race. In just three days, early ballots were up by 67 percent, breaking records for 2008 and 2012. 



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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