St. Charles Herald-Guide

Election season not over yet

Our View - October 28, 2011

The first election for state and parish offices is over, but hold tight. There’s another one ahead.

Though winners were proclaimed for most of the seats at stake where candidates received majorities, runoffs will be held for a few in the general election on Nov. 19.


Louisiana is fortunate to have switched to an open primary system under former Gov. Edwin Edwards after he had to run in three elections to become governor. Back then, there were two party primaries, the first between all candidates in the race for party nominee. Then those top two candidates ran against each other for party nominee in a runoff, followed by the general election between party nominees.


Of course, back then the Republican party usually had only one candidate for each race, so he or she could sit idly by and watch as the Democratic candidates fought it out in the primaries. Then, well rested and unopposed within his party, he or she would enter the fray in the general election.

Nowadays, we have only two elections no matter how the voting goes. And Democrats and Republicans run against each other in the open primary.


If no one gets a majority, the two candidates with the highest number of votes, no matter which party they belong to, run against each other in the general election.


We can thank Gov. Edwards for pushing a constitutional amendment for that change. It has saved our state a lot of election expense and our citizens a lot of time.