St. Charles Herald-Guide

Election abuse lowers voter turnout

By C.B. Forgotston - November 23, 2011

Secretary of State Tom Schedler, in a column in Thursday’s Baton Rouge paper bemoaned the poor turnout (36 percent) in our most recent statewide election. He predicted it will be even lower (20 percent or less) in last Saturday’s election. Schedler suggests the problem is "voter fatigue."

"Louisiana has had too many elections in years past: 70 elections between 2005 and 2010," he said in The Advocate on Nov. 17.

He makes a valid point.

As a member of the State Bond Commission, Schedler has the power to do something about the number of elections and the waste of our tax dollars.

Sources of abuse:

State law requires the Bond Commission approve all "emergency" elections in Louisiana which is the primary source of the abuse.

Schedler can start eliminating our "fatigue" by just voting "no" on these special elections. Most of these "emergency" elections are for local taxes.

They are intentionally called at unusual times to suppress voter participation because a low turnout usually means the taxes pass.

Another major source of abuse are the special elections called at the sole discretion of the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate to fill leges vacancies as leges, especially term-limited ones, move on to other offices.

Solution:

Relieving our "fatigue" requires no change to the law. It simply requires the exercise of restraint by our elected officials.

 

Jindal sold out Louisiana

Just when I think my low expectations of public officials cannot go any lower, they do.

Bobby Jindal not only refused to fight for our state, he failed to even get into the ring when it came to our state losing another member of Congress due to the latest U.S. Census.

Now, thanks to my friend Elliott Stonecipher, the facts are coming out about Jindal putting aside the best interests of our state in favor of his political ambitions.

Clearly, in order to avoid alienating politicians and voters in Texas, Florida and California, Jindal refused to fight for keeping our 7th Congressman.

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, after refusing to do so earlier, has now stepped up and into the ring on behalf of our state.

Admittedly, Caldwell’s litigation is a long-shot, but at least it is a shot. Losing a Congressman is too important to have given up without exhausting all remedies.

This issue is the best evidence, to date, of the extent of Jindal’s blind political ambitions.

There is no way to put it other than Jindal sold us out!