Louisiana Secretary of State announces delayed fall election date

On Sept. 8, Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin (R) announced that Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) had agreed to postpone the state’s fall elections. According to Ardoin, the first-round and second-round elections will now take place on Nov. 13 and Dec. 11, respectively. The first-round and second-round elections were originally scheduled to take place on Oct. 9 and Nov. 13. The governor’s office has not yet confirmed the change. 

In a Sept. 7 press release outlining his recommendation for the postponements, Ardoin said, “A number of issues stemming from Hurricane Ida’s devastation, including questions about nursing home operations, postal service delivery, extensive power outages, polling location damages, and election commissioners and staff members still displaced, would make holding the election on its original dates virtually impossible without impairing the integrity of the election.”

The fall ballot includes three special state legislative elections, municipal elections in New Orleans, four constitutional amendments, and several local ballot initiatives. Additional announcements regarding election-related deadlines are expected in the coming days. 

The Louisana majority-vote system differs from those used in the other 49 states. In Louisiana, all candidates running for a local, state, or federal office appear on the same ballot in either October (in odd-numbered years) or November (in even-numbered years), regardless of their partisan affiliations. If a candidate wins a simple majority of all votes cast for the office (i.e., 50%, plus one vote), he or she wins the election outright. If no candidate meets that threshold, the top two finishers, regardless of their partisan affiliations, advance to a second election in December. In that election, the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes wins.

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