Tuesday, October 03, 2006


We don't vote, so they don't listen


When Louisiana sets its elections on Saturdays in September, it tempts fate to intervene because football is king in this state. For most people, it takes precedence over everything else.

In some ways, weekend voting makes sense. Less people work on the weekends, so it gives them less of an excuse to skip voting. More entertaining events, however, can conspire to distract us from fulfilling our noble civic duty. That was certainly the case this weekend.

Despite the apathy in this last election, turnout in primary elections is traditionally low, and a better test of voter interest probably lies in the November elections with the secretary of state runoff and congressional elections.

"In general, holding elections on Saturdays makes it easier for voters to get to the polls, although that wasn't the case this time" says William Blair, political science instructor. "But close congressional races and the secretary of state runoff should increase turnout in November even though the election will be held on a Tuesday."

The effects of Hurricane Katrina's voter displacement will be fully realized for the first time in a statewide election, and more accurate assessments of the voting implications in Baton Rouge and elsewhere will be made.

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