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Search results: "Erica Woebse"

Rumble Because of the Jungle: How the “Jungle Primary” has Lead to a Vicious Same Party Battle for a Congressional Seat

by Erica Woebse

In the contemporary era of American politics, Congressional races tend to be bitter partisan battles waged between one Republican and one Democratic candidate.  Third parties operate peripherally, typically only able to bring up issues for the major party candidates to address or maybe steal votes away from one of the major partisan contenders.  However, this has not been the case in the congressional race in district 3 of Louisiana.  In district 3, a vicious battle between two Republican incumbents forced the opposing Democratic candidate into the role so often reserved for third party contenders.

The November 6th election resulted in incumbent Republican Representative Charles Boustany winning 45% of the vote, while opposing Republican incumbent Jeff Landry, with strong support from the Tea Party and conservative Republican groups, captured 30%.  As dictated by the terms of Louisiana’s jungle primary system, because neither candidate captured a majority of the vote, these Republicans will be forced to square off again in a December 8th runoff election.  Many political commentators blame Democratic candidate Ron Richard for the need to hold a run-off election.  While Richard was an underdog to win the seat, the 24% of the vote he earned stole votes from the Republican frontrunners and prevented either Republican candidate from capturing a majority of the votes.    Continue reading

Geaux Vote (or Don’t): Exploring the Excessive Number of Louisiana Voters on the State’s Inactive Voter List

by Erica Woebse

In a state of four million people and two million registered voters, Louisiana lists a staggering 190,848 registered voters on the state’s inactive voter list. Called “notably high” by Times-Picayune Reporter Bruce Alpert, this number has sparked controversy and left residents wondering how and why almost ten percent of Louisiana registered voters are classified as inactive.

Karen Carter Peterson of the Louisiana Democratic Party fears people are being stripped of their right to vote without adequate notice. This fear echoes a larger national controversy regarding voter ID laws and the right to vote.  While Republicans allege new voter ID laws protect the integrity of elections and root out voter fraud, Democrats claim new laws, which require voters to show state issued IDs and purge inactive voters from election polls, are intended to discourage minorities and low income individuals from voting. Continue reading

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