Early voting begins Saturday for Louisiana’s Nov. 16 state election, which is headlined by a tight race between the only Democratic governor in the Deep South and a first-time candidate for office.
Gov. John Bel Edwards, an attorney and former Army Ranger, is trying to fend off Eddie Rispone, the co-founder of a large industrial contracting business. In a red state that President Donald Trump won by 20 points, Rispone has worked to tie himself to the president while Edwards has emphasized state-specific issues and bipartisanship.
In the Louisiana Legislature, Republicans have a chance to secure a two-thirds supermajority in the House of Representatives, which they already have accomplished in the Senate. It takes two-thirds of the lawmakers in each body to raise taxes or fees, override a veto, or send a potential state constitutional amendment to the voters, so a supermajority might allow Republicans to wield considerable power even without the governor’s office.
Every other statewide race was decided in the Oct. 12 open primary except one. Current Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin will try to hold off Democrat Gwen Collins-Greenup.
Other races left to be decided include one for the state supreme court, one for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, four district court judges seats and a number of legislative seats.
In total, there are 175 candidate races and 123 propositions on ballots across the state, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Louisiana does not hold party primaries. On Oct. 12, every candidate ran on the same ballot regardless of party. Any candidate who got more than half of the votes won outright. Otherwise, the top two moved on to the Nov. 16 runoff.
Early voting is becoming more popular in Louisiana, nearly setting a record prior to this year’s primary.
Early voting starts this Saturday and ends next Saturday, Nov. 9. Polls are closed on Sunday but otherwise open daily from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. at parish Registrar of Voters offices and other designated locations.
In addition to a Louisiana driver’s license, a Louisiana Special ID or a generally recognized ID with picture and signature, voters may now use the LA Wallet smartphone app digital license for identification.
Voters can visit voterportal.sos.la.gov or use the GeauxVote Mobile app to find out where to early vote as well as what’s on their ballot.