It’s finally here. Election Day in Louisiana is just days away. For more than 376,000 voters that’s not really an issue. They represent the more than 12-percent of citizens who voted early. But for the other 2.5 million or so, this is an important election with a lot of items on the ballot.
While we hear a lot today about the responsibility we all have as citizens to vote, it’s not exactly a new thing. The Greek statesman Pericles living in the 5th century BC told citizens in Athens, “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”
The comedian George Carlin had another take a couple of thousand years later, “If you don’t vote,” he said, “you lose the right to complain.”
Whatever voice moves you, this year’s statewide election in Louisiana is an important matter. If we care about our state, and we care about its future, we should care about the people who want to lead us. The most effective way of expressing that is by voting.
That could be a little intimidating to some who haven’t exactly been keeping up with things. Besides the governor’s race we have races for all other statewide elected officials, all of the Legislature, members of BESE, four constitutional amendments, and a myriad of local races and propositions.
How do you muddle through all of that? It’s not easy, but here are some resources that might be helpful.
What’s on your ballot? Get a sample ballot from the Secretary of State or even handier, get the free Geaux Vote mobile app in the App Store or at Google Play.
What are the constitutional amendments about? This year there are only four on the ballot, but you can get information on what each amendment would do from either CABL or the Public Affairs Research Council.
What are some of the critical state issues you should be aware of? CABL, PAR, and the Committee of 100 for Economic Development have partnered on a nonpartisan issues agenda called RESET Louisiana’s Future. There you can find policy briefs and useful information about issues that we are urging candidates for governor and the Legislature to address after the elections.
Where can I see one of the gubernatorial debates if I missed it? CABL partnered with Louisiana Public Broadcasting for the second statewide televised debate which was held on September 26 in Lafayette. You can view that debate here.
How can I find out about where the candidates for governor stand on major issues? CABL surveyed all of the candidates for governor. Two of the three major candidates answered our comprehensive questionnaire.
Where can I find out more about education issues in Louisiana? CABL has published a new election guide for candidates and the public which provides an easy-to-understand guide to Louisiana’s education policies, how they fit into the bigger picture, and the results so far.