As we reported earlier in this newscast, a Baton Rouge judge has voided the results of the Nov. 6 referendum on extending the bridge tolls. That’s the subject of this week’s Commentary by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.
Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst
NEW ORLEANS -- Regardless of how you feel about bridge tolls, there’s no disputing the logic of Judge William Morvant’s ruling in the lawsuit seeking to void last November’s toll referendum.
The facts are undisputed, and the law is clear.
First, the facts: At least 1,000 voters were given provisional ballots, which, under state law, only allowed them to vote in the presidential election. Many if not all of these voters were legally registered and should have been allowed to vote.
State law says, if it’s impossible to determine the result of an election because qualified voters were denied the right to vote, a judge may nullify that election. That’s exactly what Judge Morvant found, and did, in this case. He ordered a new referendum on May 4, which happens to be the second weekend of Jazz Fest.
Going forward, several things should happen:
First, registrars should keep better records, to minimize provisional voting.
Second, provisional ballots should include all items on the ballot.
And finally, Jazz Fest notwithstanding, voters in Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes should get to the polls on May 4 — or vote early, as the law allows.
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