No Need to Choose Between to the Gridiron and the Voting Booth — Do Both!
By Danielle Coston
The New Orleans Tribune
Any professional football fan knows that a Sunday away game in a nearby city can easily morph into an impromptu weekend get-away, meaning plenty of Louisianans, even those that currently have no plans to do so, will be in Houston on Oct. 14 — the day before the New Orleans Saints take on the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.
Now if the Saints game in Houston does not present enough of a distraction, consider that Southern University in Baton Rouge, Grambling State University and Louisiana State University each have major, highly-anticipated home games on . . . that’s right . . . Oct. 14.
And yet, not one of those events are nearly as important as the real battle taking place on Oct. 14, which is when voters across the state will elect the next governor or at least determine who will advance to the November runoff.
No need to fret, though.
Die-hard Saints fans can travel to the Bayou City while college football fans statewide attend their favorite games. And everyone can still make their voices heard in the gubernatorial primary by voting early. Luckily, they will have an entire week to cast those early ballots, every day beginning today (Sept. 30) though Oct. 7, except Sunday, Oct. 1.
In New Orleans, early voting locations include:
- City Hall, 1300 Perdido Street, Room 1W24
- Algiers Courthouse, 225 Morgan Street, Room 105
- Chef Menteur Voting Machine Warehouse Site, 8870 Chef Menteur Highway
- Lake Vista Community Center, 6500 Spanish Fort Blvd.
Early voting locations will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day of early voting.
To be sure, this primary is a critical step in determining the direction of the state, with Democrat and former secretary of the state transportation department Shawn Wilson, buoyed by the state Democratic Party’s endorsement along with dozens of others from local and statewide elected officials, expected to make the runoff against Republican candidate Jeff Landry, who currently serves as Louisiana’s attorney general.
The far right-wing Landry recently came under fire for snubbing the first televised gubernatorial debate, criticizing one of its sponsors and ignoring the marginalized communities it serves — all in one breath — when he declared that he would not get a fair turn at the debate because it was co-sponsored by the Urban League of Louisiana, the local affiliate of the non-partisan National Urban League, one of the nation’s oldest civil rights organizations, whose mission for 113 years has been dedicated to equality, social justice and economic empowerment.
Voters in the heavily Democratic and majority Black city of New Orleans are expected to figure prominently in the outcome of the governor’s race.
They will also have two fewer ballot items to consider. In late August, Sharon Latten Clark was declared the unopposed winner of the District 2 Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) race after Eric Jones was disqualified. The same is true for state Rep. Candace Newell who faced a challenge from Richard Bell until he was disqualified from the District 99 state house race in late August as well.
Still, New Orleans voters still have much to decide in addition to casting their ballots for governor, including state senatorial and state House district races, a lone judicial race to determine who will sit on Section I of Orleans Parish Criminal District Court as well as statewide races for attorney general, secretary of state and lieutenant governor.
The New Orleans Tribune will announce its endorsements prior to early voting on its website and other digital platforms.
And in the meantime, we urge all of our dedicated readers and followers to check their voting status and register to vote online by Sept. 23 through the state’s GeauxVote Online Registration System.