Louisiana voters make history by electing female as secretary of state

Published: Oct. 31, 2023 at 5:50 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 18, 2023 at 9:14 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Republican Nancy Landry is projected to defeat Gwen Collins-Greenup, a Democrat, according to WAFB’s Jim Engster. Landry currently serves as first assistant in the Secretary of State’s Office.


Gwen Collins-Greenup (left) and Nancy Landry (right)
Gwen Collins-Greenup (left) and Nancy Landry (right)(KSLA)

“I’m running again because I want to strengthen Louisiana’s businesses, secure our elections and protect every eligible Louisiana citizen’s right to vote,” Collins-Greenup said.

Collins-Greenup, an attorney from Baton Rouge, said the most important issue the next secretary of state will have to deal with is updating Louisiana’s outdated voting machines with a modern system that comes with a paper ballot. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree that change is needed, and both candidates in the race also agree.

“So we can assure that the votes we cast are the votes that are counted, and we can use that to conduct post-election audits,” Collins-Greenup explained.

“It’s over 30 years old, and it needs to be replaced. That is my number one priority as secretary of state,” Landry said.

Both candidates also agree that voters in general appear to have a political fatigue, resulting in a dismal voter turnout. Experts say the election in November is projected to have a turnout possibly as low as 15%. According to the candidates, it may be tough to motivate voters.

“From talking to voters for the past five years, people are becoming polarized with the entire election system,” Collins-Greenup added.

“I just don’t think there was a lot of enthusiasm on either side of the aisle for going out to vote this time,” Landry continued.

As far as young voters go, both candidates say the motivation appears to be there around presidential races. That’s not so much the case locally or at the state level, which the candidates say is pretty typical but needs to change nonetheless.

On paper, it may seem like the two candidates don’t differ too much when it comes to policy. However, with Nancy Landry currently serving as the first assistant secretary of state under Kyle Ardoin, she argues she’s the only one in the race with the experience to run a statewide election.

“And we have the 2024 presidential election right around the corner. We just can’t afford to have a secretary of state who needs on the job training, and I’m the only candidate who will be ready to hit the ground running on day one,” Landry explained.

“To that, I’d say we all have consultants that want to see us win elections. But the people of Louisiana know that I have the experience, I have the background, and I have the passion to not only roll up my sleeves and do the work, but I have the experience and passion to lead the work,” Collins-Greenup said.

Landry beat Collins-Greenup by less than 1,000 votes in the primary. Early voting begins on Friday, November 3, and election day is Saturday, November 18.

Two candidates are facing off in a runoff race to become Louisiana’s next Secretary of State.

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