Our friends and neighbors in Louisiana started voting in person over the weekend for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak interrupted our lives and turned state government upside down. This election cycle is unlike any other in recent memory. The early voting period will stretch over two weeks instead of one, due to the pandemic.
While the presidential preference question will garner a great deal of attention alongside numerous state party posts that must be filled, 169 mostly local elections were scheduled for this summer’s primary ballot, including three multi-parish contests for a pair of judgeships and a state House seat, writes Jeremy Alford in his new column.
Of those 169 scheduled elections, there are 25 for mayor and 14 for chiefs of police. The rest run the gamut from school boards and city councils to justices of the peace and city judges.
However, only 100 of those elections are competitive, since 63 candidates statewide qualified for jobs without opposition and another six elections drew no candidates whatsoever. In those cases where no candidates at all qualified, the elections will be called again or temporary appointments will be made.
That means 40% of the local races have already been decided, which is a sobering reminder that civic engagement isn’t exactly at a level that it should be.
Nonetheless, there are still several hot elections to participate in and track this cycle, beginning with a pair of multi-parish races that politicos statewide are watching with interest.