Voters in Louisiana will decide on three constitutional amendments on Dec. 10.
Amendment 1 would prohibit local governments from allowing noncitizens to vote. Currently, Article I, Section 10 of the Louisiana Constitution reads, “Every citizen of the state, upon reaching eighteen years of age, shall have the right to register and vote…” This amendment would amend the section to read “Every person who is both a citizen of the state and of the United States, upon reaching eighteen years of age, shall have the right to register and vote…” It would also add, “No person who is not a citizen of the United States shall be allowed to register and vote in this state.”
Since 2018, constitutional amendments to state that only a citizen may vote were approved in five states: North Dakota, Colorado, Alabama, Florida, and Ohio.
Amendments 2 and 3 concern Senate confirmation for civil service and State Police Commission appointees.
Amendment 2 would require senate confirmation of gubernatorial appointees to the State Civil Service Commission. The commission regulates and administrates the state civil service system. Currently, six members of the Louisiana State Civil Service Commission are appointed by the governor. The presidents of Centenary College, Dillard University, Loyola University, Tulane University, Xavier University, and Louisiana College each nominate three individuals. The governor selects one member from each of the presidents’ nominations. The members must each be from one of the state’s six congressional districts. The seventh member is an employee representative that is elected by other state employees. The appointments are currently not subject to confirmation by the legislature.
Amendment 3 would require senate confirmation of gubernatorial appointees to the State Police Commission.
The Louisiana State Police Commission was created through a 1990 constitutional amendment that removed the state police from the civil service system and created a separate state police service. Going into the election, appointments to the Civil Service Commission and State Police Commission were similar. Six members of the Louisiana State Police Commission are appointed by the governor. The presidents of six state colleges and universities each nominate three individuals. The governor selects one member from each of the presidents’ nominations. The members must each be from one of the state’s six congressional districts.
State Sen. Cleo Fields (D) said, “I could not come up with one single reason why we did not put confirmation in the constitution when we created it. I just don’t know. There’s just really no good reason why we did not put the confirmation of these members.” Fields also said Louisiana is the only state with a separate oversight commission for state police and that all other boards and commissions in the state constitution require Senate confirmation of gubernatorial appointments.
Louisiana voters decided on eight constitutional amendments on Nov. 8; three were approved and five were defeated.