PAR Louisiana reacts to Nov. 13 Election Results

Posted at 10:46 PM, Nov 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-14 23:46:16-05

The November 13th election is over and results are in.

Voters made decisions on the state's tax structure and local officials, but despite an uptick in early voting numbers, the overall turnout for the election was low.

KATC spoke with Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana's policy director Steven Procopio about the low turnout. He said it could be for a variety of reasons — the type of election, concerns over the pandemic, or continued hurricane recovery.

"You could see anywhere from you know 24 to even uh 40 percent turnout, so yeah 14 percent is much lower," Procopio said.

He also noted that higher turnout elections typically surround a gubernatorial or presidential race.

"The turnout is going to be a little bit higher in New Orleans because they had a mayor's race so that was a fairly major race where other places that didn't necessarily have races," Procopio said. "Maybe they were only voting on constitutional amendments, you know, library taxes, probably didn't vote as much because there wasn't as much on the ballot for them to vote for."

Another common issue during state elections, Procopio added, is voter confusion — especially when it comes to constitutional amendments.

"At the end of the day, we have a complicated constitution and changes to it are often complicated," Procopio stated. "And so there's, you know, it's gonna be work that has to be done by the citizens and by the people that propose these amendments to really make sure the people understand."

And as for the amendment that did pass, Amendment 2?

"It got rid of the income tax deduction for federal taxes paid off of your state income tax and so that will go away, but your sales tax or your income tax rates will go down," he said. "So overall, it's a roughly — we're having a neutral change — but it was also a slight tax cut for most people."

Procopio emphasized that every election at every level is different — but one thing he said should never change is making sure voters stay educated in the decisions they make at the ballot box.

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