The turnout in last Saturday’s runoff elections in New Orleans was among the lowest in memory. And that’s the topic of this week’s Commentary by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.
Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst
When only a small minority of voters take the time to cast ballots, it typically means an election was not very important. But last Saturday’s runoffs in New Orleans were important — voters filled two seats on the City Council.
And yet, voter turnout in Council District B was only 18 percent. In District E, it was only 16 percent.
Citywide, turnout was less than 10 percent.
But it’s not all voters’ fault. After all, no other state holds elections in mid-December — a month after the most expensive presidential race in history. Frankly, voters probably had a case of “election fatigue.”
Who can blame them? Louisiana seems to have special elections year-round. That doesn’t just wear voters out. It costs millions of taxpayer dollars.
Louisiana’s chief elections officer, Secretary of State Tom Schedler, has been asking lawmakers for years to reduce the number of elections. They’ve cut back some, but not nearly enough. It’s time for lawmakers to put some sense into Louisiana’s election code. Schedule one special election in the spring, and hold regular elections in the fall — with runoffs in November.
You know — like the rest of America.
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