Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin and Gov. John Bel Edwards met today (Tuesday, Sept. 7) to discuss whether the upcoming fall elections should be postponed given the destruction Hurricane Ida has caused across more than two dozen parishes across the state,
Ardoin wants the Oct. 9 election to be pushed back to Nov. 13 and the Nov. 13 electionmoved to Dec. 11.
New Orleans voters are expected to head to the polls to choose a slate of city leaders, including mayor, sheriff, assessor, clerks of criminal and civil court, at-large and district city council members. Voters in state House District 102 were also set to choose a new representative on Oct. 9.
“With a number of deadlines forthcoming, such as voter registration deadlines, and early voting set to commence in less than three weeks, I am calling on Gov. Edwards to approve rescheduling the October 9 and November 13 elections,” Secretary 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.”
In fact, the Sept. 8 deadline to register to vote in person or by mail looms even though with many New Orleanians and Louisianan, in general, are still wrestling with the storm’s aftermath. Other important deadlines for the Oct. 9 election are Sept. 18, the last day to register to vote online through the geauxvote.com portal; Oct. 5 the last day to request an absentee ballot and Oct. 8, the last day to return completed absentee ballots to the registrar of voters office.
As of today (Sept. 7), about 24 percent of the New Orleans residents remain without power.
A number of local election officials and civic groups have expressed support for rescheduling the Oct. 9 and Nov. 13 elections.