Schedler addresses Crowley Lions
Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler was at the Town Club in Crowley for a luncheon Tuesday to discuss improvements to the state museum system, holding fewer elections to help increase voter turnout and to answer any questions from those in attendance.
He also must have felt right at home with his aide, Deputy Secretary of State for the Office of GeauxBiz Allison Clarke, and his recent appointee to the Old State Capitol Advisory Board, Nancy Broadhurst, both being Crowley residents.
Broadhurst introduced the secretary of state to the Lions Club gathering.
“Secretary of State Tom Schedler was appointed to the position of secretary of state after serving as first assistant for three years, he was then elected by the people to serve a four-year term in 2011,” said Broadhurst.
“His list of accomplishments are many,” she continued. “They include reducing the number of special elections in Louisiana to preserve tax dollars, improving voter registration and participation through technology, honoring the sacrifice of our military servicemen and enhancing services in the commercial division.”
Schedler then took the podium to a round of applause. He wanted to speak about Louisiana’s museum system as well as elections in the state.
“I would like to begin by thanking Nancy Broadhurst for graciously accepting my offer to serve on the Old State Capitol Advisory Board,” he began. “Out of the 15 museums that I work with, the Old State Capitol is my flagship. We are undergoing a major renovation and I believe that the facility is magnificent.”
Schedler discussed some of the history of the building which included being the building where Louisiana voted to secede from the Union prior to the Civil War and to being the place where colorful Louisiana Governor Huey Long made history.
“I don’t think Huey Long could have been elected today,” Schedler smiled. “But back in those days, right before and during the Great Depression, Louisiana only had four miles of paved roads and children had no school books. It was a different place and time.”
Schedler also discussed a recently added, interactive system where a person who visits the Old State Capitol may press a button under a picture of each former Louisiana governor which plays part of each of their speeches.
He also discussed his work with the Louisiana Science and History Museum as well as several military museums. One of the more interesting items he mentioned was a 2,500 year old canoe dug out of a single tree which was found in the Red River’s system.
When it came time to discuss elections, Schedler stated that the main problem with them was simple.
“There’s too many,” he said emphatically. “This is something I’ve been very strong on since I ran.”
Schedler stated “the biggest culprit was special elections that are usually held to replace state legislators.
“We’ve made every effort to get with people and at least get them to look into jumping into another election,” he said.
As far as voter participation in the state, Schedler stated that 84 percent of the state’s residents are registered to vote.
“This is a number I’m very proud of,” he said. “However, we have the same problem as other states which is turnout. We will be lucky to hit 20 percent in the October 19 election.
“I believe that this is due to people being dissatisfied with the government and it also goes back to having too many elections. It makes them seem less important.”
Shedler also discussed a phone app (for which his office was given a national award) that allows people to “get the results to an election as fast as I do,” Louisiana’s voter identification law (which was in place in 1997, well before the recent national uproar), the genealogy library in his office (rated as one of the best in the country) and his office’s efforts to lessen the number of documents required for people to obtain an LLC.
“Every individual entrepreneur in the state owes thanks you,” said Crowley Lion Roy Geesey to the laughter of those in attendance.
Secretary Schedler also wanted to recognize Acadia Parish Clerk of Court Robby Barousse, who was in attendance, for the work done by his office.