Conservative Media Questions Legitimacy of Edwards' Election
Hayride columnist Jeff Crouere calls on Sec. of State to look into 2019 election
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Louisiana Republicans have fought against Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards at every turn. Multiple attempts to recall the governor failed, as did several attempts to fight against Edwards’ coronavirus restrictions in the courts. Now local conservative Jeff Crouere is taking a page from seditious Republicans on the national stage by calling into question fairly certified election results.
In an April 26th column in The Hayride - a conservative media outlet - Crouere calls into question the 2019 gubernatorial election results, pointing specifically to Orleans Parish. According to Crouere, the results showing that challenger Eddie Rispone was defeated by over 100,000 votes in New Orleans are “quite suspicious.” Edwards received 114,812 votes in New Orleans compared to Rispone’s 13,041.
However, former President Donald Trump experienced similar results in the 2020 Presidential election in Orleans Parish, earning only 26,664 votes to Biden’s 147,854. Crouere considers the 2019 vote to show a questionably high voter turnout, yet the turnout is the same just one year later.
The reason Crouere considers these numbers to be too high? The disenfranchisement rate isn’t high enough.
The Louisiana Secretary of State shows that there are 273,640 registered voters in New Orleans - which means that around 90 percent of New Orleans’ eligible voters are registered. This is largely due to the efforts of groups such as the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, VOTE, Indivisible New Orleans, and others. These groups work tirelessly year-round to ensure every person who is eligible to vote in New Orleans is registered and able to vote when the time comes.
Crouere decries that the national average is only 70 percent, and had New Orleans followed that trend, Rispone would have won the state. “There ar possibly tens of thousands of suspicious voters on the rolls in Orleans Parish,” Crouere claims. “It must be rectified before the next election.”
Crouere ends by referencing “The Big Lie” - the repeatedly disproven claim by seditious conservatives that the 2020 election was somehow rigged or otherwise stolen from them.
This tactic isn’t surprising in spite of its failure at the national level. Though Trump’s own Department of Justice confirmed that there was no voter fraud in the 2020 election, conservatives are turning an eye toward more local elections - where disenfranchisement attempts (such as Georgia’s recent voter registration law) can be far more successful. Crouere is attempting to hint that the Louisiana Legislator and Secretary of State - both Republican - should use the power that they have to disenfranchise thousands of Louisiana voters in Orleans Parish, which almost always votes overwhelmingly Blue. He then points to other large cities such as Baton Rouge and Shreveport, which - while not voting Blue yet, are showing trends in that direction.
Republicans understand that disenfranchisement at the local level protects their wins on the national stage - and Democrats need to be prepared to fight against it.