November 7, 2018

November 6 Election Results

Last night’s election results are in, and the needle is pointing up on justice in Louisiana.

Ballot Amendment 2, creating a unanimous jury, passed by a landslide, with 64% of the vote! A historic statewide turnout of 49% was helped by the incredible work of the Unanimous Jury Coalition (UJC). Considering the hard work and momentum created by Voice of the Experienced over the years, we are all reaping the benefits of non-partisan criminal justice reform. With nearly one million people voting to fix a glaring injustice, this sends a clear signal to state legislators, and to the Governor, the people demand changes in Louisiana’s culture of incarceration.

Amendment 1: It remains unclear if voters fully knew what they were voting for, but unfortunately, Louisiana voters passed Amendment 1 (with 75% of the vote) and bar people convicted of felonies from running for office or being appointed to positions of trust, for a period of 5 years after their punishment ends (including probation and parole). Some voters mistakenly believed that Amendment 1 was a reduction in punishment, rather than an increase because they didn’t know the current rule did not bar people at all. This means voters can’t elect the leaders of their choice, and it remains to be seen if barring people from ‘positions of trust’ has any bearing on their ability to serve the community.

Secretary of State: Gwen Collins-Greenup (20%) and Kyle Ardoin (20%) both advance to a December 8th run-off election. Both candidates are invited to a community forum next week, at Corpus Christi Community Center (2022 St. Bernard Ave, New Orleans), where voters will want to know more about voter access and eligibility under the new law restoring voting rights to people on probation and parole.

Congress: As expected, Louisiana still has five Republican and one Democrat in the House of Representatives. New Orleans-area incumbents Steve Scalise (CD-1) and Cedric Richmond (CD-2), having won multiple elections, are firmly entrenched and re-elected with a 71% and 81% victory, respectively. Mike Johnson (CD-4, including Shreveport) won his first re-election, by 64%, showing the power of the incumbency. Meanwhile, Ralph Abraham (CD-5, Northwest LA) also won by 67%, and Garret Graves (CD-6, Baton Rouge) stays in the House with a 69% victory. Clay Higgins (CD-3, Southeast LA), was thought to be vulnerable to several challengers, yet won his first re-election with 56% of the vote.

Amendments 3, 4, 5, and 6 all passed as well. Perhaps the “Yes on Two” voters just played it safe and voted Yes on Everything? Fantasy Football will also be legal in parishes that further authorize it, and actual state regulations will be created in the next legislative session.

Lafayette Local Races

State Senator (D-26): Former state representative Bob Hensgens will switch over to the Senate side of the Statehouse for the next session, a career arc taken by many in the legislature.

Mayors: Three mayoral races outside of Lafayette had vastly different outcomes: Ray Bourque (not the NHL legend) won in Broussard by a landslide (89%); Jan-Scott Richard won in Scott by 23 votes, and a run-off in Carenco will be down to Charlotte Stemman Clavier (867 votes) and Glenn Brasseaux (859 votes). Unfortunately, 3rd place finisher Tommy Angelle’s 841 votes leaves him home on December 8th. If ever there was a race that indicates the power of organizing, Mr. Angelle may be wondering if he could have shaken 18 more hands.

With 63% of voters in Lafayette parish voting to create a unanimous jury system, it is clear that a broad base of people in the area supports criminal justice reforms. Many voters are connected with the recently-created VOTE chapter, and kudos to the hard work of VOTE Chapter Leader Consuela Gaines, along with Unanimous Jury Coalition’s Kelly Garrett, for educating Lafayette about this historic and essential issue.

Find out more results HERE.

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