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Early voting in Louisiana’s delayed election ends; absentee ballots due Nov. 12

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 file photo, people vote on Election Day at the Martin...
FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 file photo, people vote on Election Day at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)(Gerald Herbert | AP)
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 12:10 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 9, 2021 at 6:45 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - After getting postponed due to Hurricane Ida, the early voting period in Louisiana’s hurricane-delayed fall election has come and gone but there are still a few days to vote via absentee ballot.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin issued a reminder that the deadline to request an absentee ballot is Tuesday, Nov. 9, by 4:30 p.m. Requests can be made online by visiting voterportal.sos.la.gov and selecting “Request Absentee Ballot,” or in-person at the parish Registrar of Voters office. Voters who have requested but not yet received an absentee ballot may check their absentee ballot status by visiting voterportal.sos.la.gov, entering the appropriate voter information, and selecting “Check Absentee Ballot Status.” The deadline to return a completed ballot is Friday, Nov. 12, by 4:30 pm.

Four constitutional amendments are the only thing facing all voters statewide.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

The two most prominent amendment proposals involve taxes.

One proposal would start the process for centralizing sales tax collections through a commission, rather than dozens of local government agencies as is currently done. The other would set in motion a complicated tax swap plan that would get rid of personal income tax and corporate tax deductions for federal income taxes paid in exchange for lowering the state’s overall income tax rates. It also would eliminate the corporate franchise tax for small businesses.

The other amendments would allow some local levee districts to increase their taxing authority and let lawmakers cut more deeply into protected funds when the state faces a budget deficit.

MUNICIPAL RACES ON THE BALLOT

Ardoin’s office said 21 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes have only the constitutional amendments on the ballot: Caldwell, Cameron, Concordia, DeSoto, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Iberville, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, LaSalle, Livingston, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Red River, St. Helena, St. James, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Webster, West Baton Rouge, and Winn.

But the other parishes have local races and propositions facing voters. Among the most high-profile are the municipal races in New Orleans, where voters will choose a mayor, sheriff, city council members and more. Some parishes have special elections to fill three vacant legislative seats.

In any race where no candidate tops 50% of the vote, the leading two vote-getters will face each other in a Dec. 11 runoff.

DELAYED ELECTION

The election was rescheduled from Oct. 9 after Ida wrecked parts of southeast Louisiana when it struck as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 29.

Ardoin, a Republican who works as the state’s chief elections officer, requested the five-week delay because of the widespread power outages, displacement of residents, and damage to polling locations. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards agreed to the postponement.

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