5 Election Day Things To Watch For In Louisiana
Here's a look at five things to watch on election day in Louisiana:
1. A CROWDED BALLOT FOR PRESIDENT
While incumbent Democrat Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney get most of the attention, there are nine other parties with presidential candidates on the ballot. They include the Green Party (Jill Stein), Libertarian (Gary Johnson), Constitution (Virgil Goode), Justice (Ross Anderson), Prohibition (Jack Fellure), Socialism and Liberation (Peta Lindsay), Socialist Quality (Jerry White), Socialist Workers (James Harris) and The People (Sheila Tittle).
2. THIRD IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Among congressional races, the 3rd District is likely to be most closely watched. That's because two sitting Republican congressmen — Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry — are pitted after the state lost a seat in the U.S. House after the census of 2010. The race also includes a third Republican (Bryan Barrilleaux), a Democrat (Ron Richard) and a Libertarian candidate (Jim Stark). The district is centered in the bayou country parishes.
3. FOCUS ON THE CONSTITUTION
Election Day in Louisiana wouldn't be the same without a basket of constitutional amendments for voters. This time there are nine, including one that proponents say would strength gun-ownership rights. The proposed amendment would eliminate language in the Louisiana Constitution that would allow passage of laws prohibiting concealed weapons. It also includes a requirement that any gun restrictions be held to a tough judicial standard.
4. REPLACING JUSTICE KIMBALL
With Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball set to retire in 2013, eight candidates are seeking her seat in a district centered in the Baton Rouge area. A runoff is possible and would be held Dec. 8. But the new justice would not become chief when Kimball steps down. Justice Bernette Johnson already has been designated to succeed Kimball in that role.
5. THE CLOCK STARTS TICKING
Polls statewide opened at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. The Louisiana secretary of state's office advises voters to take to the polls a driver license, Louisiana Special ID card or another generally recognized picture ID with the voter's name and signature. Sunrise today was shortly after 6 a.m. and sunset is a few minutes after 5 p.m. So polls will open before sunrise and close well after the sun sets.