Louisiana Recount Laws

This information was updated in July 2015 using Title 18 of the 2014 Louisiana Revised State (LA.Rev.Stat.)

Voting System Used: 

DREs without VVPAT

For more details, visit Verified Voting.

Counting Method: 

Mix of recount, retabulation and electronic review

The statutes only allow recounts for absentee by mail and early voting ballots.  The absentee by mail ballots will be counted by hand or scanning equipment, and the DRE early voting ballots will be counted electronically, unless paper ballots were used for early voting and in such case, the ballots shall be recounted by hand.  See LA Rev. Stat. 18:1313(J)(2)(a)(i) and (ii).

Louisiana uses DREs without VVPATs for its election day, polling place voting equipment.  Candidates or their representatives may submit a written request to reopen DREs for a “reinspection” (an electronic review) of the election returns.  See 18:573(A)(3).

Initiating Mechanism: 

Candidate-initiated
Voter-initiated

Candidate-Initiated Options: 

Contested election
Specific ballot category

If the number of absentee by mail and early voting ballots cast for all candidates for an office could make
a difference in the outcome of the election for such office, a candidate may file a written request for a
recount. See 18:1313(J)(2)(a)(i).

Candidates may file a written request for a “reinspection” (an electronic review) of the polling place DRE
results. See 18:573(A)(3).

Candidates may also seek a recount as part of an election contest in the courts.  "Prior to the trail of an election contest, a party to the suit by ex parte motinon may seek a recount of the absentee by mail and early voting ballots if he alleges that there is an error in the the counting of the absentee by mail and early voting ballots which would have changed the outcome of the election."  See 18:1451.

Timing:  See 18:1313(J)(2)(b), 18:573(A)(3) and 18:1453(A).

Voter-Initiated Options: 

Close vote margin required
Specific ballot category

If the number of absentee by mail and early voting ballots cast for and against a ballot measure could
make a difference in the outcome of the election, a person who voted in the ballot measure election may
file a written request for a recount. See 18:1313(J)(2)(a)(ii).

Timing: See 18:1313(J)(2)(b).

Cost for Candidate-Initiated Recounts: 

Paid entirely by initiator
Payer of costs depends on outcome of recount

The candidate requesting the recount shall be responsible for all reasonable costs associated with the
recount. If the recount changes the outcome of the election, the costs paid by the candidate shall be
refunded. See 18:1313(J)(d)(i) and (ii). See also the Election Expense Manual for the Clerks of Court and
Parish Boards of Election Supervisors, pp. 13-14
.

For recounts conducted prior to the trial of an election contest, “if the court determines that the original
count of the absentee by mail and early voting ballots was correct or that the error would not have
changed the result of the election, the cost of recounting shall be assessed against the party who
demanded the recount. If the court determines that an error was made in the original count of the
absentee by mail and early voting ballots that changed the result of the election, the cost of recounting
the absentee by mail and early voting ballots shall not be assessed against any party.” See 18:1452.

For reinspections of DREs, the “candidate requesting the reinspection shall be responsible for all
reasonable costs associated with such reinspection….” See 18:573(A)(3).

Cost for Voter-Initiated Recounts: 

Paid entirely by initiator
Payer of consts depends on outcome of recount

In a ballot measure election, the voter requesting the recount shall be responsible for all reasonable costs
associated with the recount. If the recount changes the outcome of the election, the costs paid by the
voter will be refunded. See 18:1313(J)(2)(d)(i), (2)(d)(ii) and (J)(4). See also the Election Expense
Manual for the Clerks of Court and Parish Boards of Election Supervisors, pp. 13-14
.

For recounts conducted prior to the trial of an election contest, “if the court determines that the original
count of the absentee by mail and early voting ballots was correct or that the error would not have
changed the result of the election, the cost of recounting shall be assessed against the party who
demanded the recount. If the court determines that an error was made in the original count of the
absentee by mail and early voting ballots that changed the result of the election, the cost of recounting
the absentee by mail and early voting ballots shall not be assessed against any party.” See 18:1452.

Challengers and Observers: 

Party/candidate or initiator has statutory authority to appoint observers
No statutory guidance for recount challengers

Although the statutes do not specify that recounts must be public, in practice, recounts and reinspections
are open to the public. See the Parish Board Of Election Supervisor’s Handbook, Section 4.2: “Statutory
Public Meetings Open to the General Public,” pp 3-4.

For recounts conducted prior to the trial of an election contest, “[t]he trial judge shall give notice of the
time and place of the recount to all interested parties. The parties, or their representatives, may be
present at the recount, but the recount shall not be an adversary proceeding.” See 18:1453(B).

Rules for Determining Voter Intent: 

No statutory guidance provided

Audit Laws: 

State does not have audit laws

Louisiana does not have audit laws.