Edwards vetoes ban on private election funding

David Jacobs | The Center Square

Gov. John Bel Edwards has vetoed House Bill 20, which sought to prevent Louisiana and local officials from using private funds to pay for election expenses. Edwards vetoed a similar bill last year.

Edwards’ office said the ban “is not necessary to protect the integrity of the election process,” adding that officials “should retain the authority to apply for grants that would assist them in providing for safe and fair elections.”

Supporters of the ban said outside actors could spend money to influence elections, also arguing some jurisdictions getting grants while others don’t could lead to unequal treatment of voters. Rep. Blake Miguez, an Erath Republican, filed the bill in response to grants Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, paid for last year to ensure “every eligible voter can participate in a safe and timely way and have their vote counted.”