Election Day in Louisiana is Saturday. Here's your one-stop guide
Election Day in Louisiana is coming up: this Saturday, Nov. 18.
While some statewide races — including governor — were decided in the primaries, the outcome of several major statewide races, local races and constitutional amendments will be determined in November’s general election.
Voters across the state will be asked to consider specific local matters, as well as four potential amendments to the state constitution, each of which requires a majority vote at the polls to be implemented.
Several major statewide and local positions are also on the ballot:
- Statewide: secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general
- Locally: Many voters will see state legislators, sheriffs, school board members, clerks and other public officials on the ballot.
You can also view a sample ballot on the secretary of state’s website. Just select your parish and precinct information, and you’ll see which races and questions will be included on your ballot when you go to vote. | Find your ballot
Here’s a guide to help you navigate the voting process. (If you have more questions about voting in Louisiana, try browsing the secretary of state’s voters’ guide or the department’s guides to several types of voting needs.) For more information on voter registration and voting in Louisiana, visit the secretary of state’s website.
- What races won’t be on my ballot?
- What’s on the ballot?
- What do I need to know about voting in Louisiana?
What races and issues won’t be on my ballot?
Several races for statewide office — including governor and lieutenant governor — have already been decided, so you won’t see them on your ballot in November.
Louisiana held a gubernatorial primary in October, which determined the candidates whose names will appear on the November runoff ballot.
In an open primary like Louisiana’s, the two candidates with the largest percentages of votes in each contest landed on the November ballot — except in the races for which a single candidate pulled in more than 50% of the votes. In those cases, the candidate was automatically declared the winner.
That happened in two statewide positions: the races for governor and lieutenant governor. Jeff Landry, a Republican, was elected governor, and incumbent Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, also a Republican, was reelected.
Before the election, the statewide positions of insurance commissioner and agriculture and forestry commissioner were uncontested, which means the candidates who qualified for those roles will automatically take office in January and will not appear on ballots, either.
Incumbent Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain will continue in the role when his current term ends, and Tim Temple, a former insurance executive, will take over as Louisiana’s next insurance commissioner in January. Both are Republicans.
So voters won’t see governor, lieutenant governor, insurance commissioner or agriculture commissioner on the ballot in November.
What will be on the ballot?
Louisiana voters will be asked to choose their new secretary of state, attorney general and treasurer in the November elections.
They’ll also be tasked with approving or declining four proposed amendments to the state constitution. Many municipalities are also putting forth ballot initiatives on local issues — and in several areas around the state, voters will also be electing their representatives in the state Legislature, as well as local officials like school board members and sheriffs.
Voters statewide will be asked to consider four potential amendments to the state constitution, each of which requires a majority vote at the polls to be implemented.
Louisiana’s state constitution, which was adopted in 1974, is one of the longest in the nation, with hundreds of amendments. Often, proposed amendments are meant to clarify existing parts.
In the October primary, four separate constitutional amendments — which addressed how elections are funded, refined protections around houses of worship, directed some surplus spending toward state retirement debt and addressed circumstances in which property tax exemptions for nonprofits can be rescinded — passed with a majority of the vote. Now, voters will consider four more on separate issues:
- Amendment No. 1: Provides relative to the timing of gubernatorial action on a bill and related matters
This proposed amendment focuses on the logistics of passing laws at the Louisiana Legislature. The Legislature’s current rules require lawmakers to convene a separate session — called a “veto session” — if they want to override a governor’s veto of a law. If passed, this amendment would allow lawmakers to override a veto if they are already convened for a legislative session, without having to pause that session and hold a separate veto session.
- Amendment No. 2: Repeals certain funds in the state treasury
The second proposed constitutional amendment is largely meant to clean up Louisiana’s lengthy state constitution. It would remove six inactive funds from the constitution. Five of the funds are empty, and the sixth fund has about $600 in it, which would move to the state general fund if the amendment passes.
- Amendment No. 3: Provides for an ad valorem tax exemption for certain first responders
Under the state’s homestead exemption, most Louisianans are exempt from paying taxes on the first $75,000 of the home they live in. This amendment would allow local authorities to approve an additional exemption for sheriffs, police officers and other certain first responders on top of that. It won’t require municipalities to implement the additional exemption, but it gives them the option to put it into place.
- Amendment No. 4: Provides relative to the use of monies in the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund
This proposed amendment would add more restrictions to lawmakers’ use of the state’s Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund, a savings account that relies heavily on corporate taxes for funding. This amendment would add limits to lawmakers’ ability to draw money from the fund.
Politics reporter Molly Ryan dove into the four amendments and what they mean earlier this month, creating a quick guide ahead of Election Day. (Read her full report here.) The nonpartisan Public Affairs Research Council also published a comprehensive guide to the proposed amendments, with a deep dive into each.
Secretary of state
Two of the eight candidates vying to replace Kyle Ardoin, who is not running for reelection, as secretary of state are moving to a runoff:
- Gwen Collins-Greenup, a Baton Rouge attorney who ran for the role in 2019 — Democrat
- Nancy Landry, a former state representative and the current first assistant secretary of state — Republican
Candidates: Collins-Greenup spoke with Louisiana Considered, and said strengthening Louisiana’s elections and implementing a new voting system will be a top priority for her if elected. She said she first recommended switching Louisiana to a voting system with a paper trail when she ran for secretary of state in 2019.
Collins-Greenup is also a proponent of increasing voter turnout and said she believes the secretary of state should be leading that effort — even though voter turnout is not part of the secretary of state’s official responsibilities and is typically left up to citizens of the state. She said she wants to use the secretary of state’s voter outreach division to educate students as young as middle school about voting and its importance.
Nancy Landry is endorsed by the Louisiana Republican Party and by Republican Gov.-elect Jeff Landry. She is a former state lawmaker from Lafayette and has served as second-in-command to current Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin since 2019.
Landry declined Louisiana Considered’s invitation for an on-air interview. But in a forum with other secretary of state candidates in September, Landry advocated for a voting system that employs technology and keeps a paper trail that can be audited. She and Collins-Greenup agreed that the best voting system would combine technology with a paper trail.
Responsibilities: Louisiana's secretary of state is responsible for business filings, notaries and, most prominently, running elections and the voting process.
The Legislature passed a law in 2021 that bans the voting machines currently used in the state and requires Louisiana to implement a new system, with a paper trail. It will be up to the next secretary of state to choose and implement the new system.
The outcome of the attorney general race will shape the politics of abortion, crime, oil and gas and more in Louisiana – now, and well into the future.
The state’s current attorney general, Jeff Landry, was elected governor outright in the October primary — leaving his seat vacant at the end of his term.
Of the five candidates initially vying for the position — three Republicans and two Democrats — two finalists emerged for the November runoff, leaving the state poised to elect its first female attorney general:
- Lindsey Cheek, a trial attorney from New Orleans — Democrat
- Liz Murrill, Louisiana’s solicitor general, who works in Landry’s office — Republican
Cheek and Murrill spoke with Louisiana Considered this month as part of our series on candidates for statewide office.
Candidates: Murrill has pitched herself as the candidate who will reduce crime across the state if elected. She said she would use the attorney general’s office to provide additional support to district attorneys and the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation.
She has had a close working relationship with Gov.-elect Landry for years and is seen by many as his hand-picked successor for the AG’s office. Landry appointed her to the solicitor general role, a position he created, in 2016. The two share similar conservative views, including supporting the state's near-total ban on abortion — and both have defended the state’s contested congressional map, which is at the center of one of several court cases concerning redistricting and voting access in the South.
Cheek is politically different from Landry and Murrill in nearly every way. If elected, her power as an attorney general could be limited by a governor whose views are fundamentally opposed to hers — but she could also potentially serve as a political counterbalance to Landry and the Republican-majority state legislature.
In her interview with Louisiana Considered, Cheek said she’d like to see a civil rights division in the attorney general’s office, with a focus on discrimination cases, voting rights, public health, environmental issues and abortion rights.
She said she believes that the state’s abortion ban — one of the strictest in the nation — should, at minimum, provide exceptions in cases of rape and incest, provisions the law does not currently include. And she favors a focus on recidivism-reduction programs, which support people’s reentry into society after incarceration, as a primary tool for combating crime in the state. She said she sees such programs as a more sustainable solution than broad incarceration since they help address the underlying causes of crime.
Responsibilities: The attorney general acts as the chief legal officer in the state — primarily representing the state and state agencies in civil lawsuits and advising the governor’s office and other state entities on legal questions. While it’s typically district attorneys who manage the bulk of prosecutions in the state, the AG’s office has some criminal oversight, but only in specific areas like cybercrime and public corruption.
The next Louisiana attorney general will largely define the state’s relationship with the federal government, as well as whether — and how aggressively — the state will be involved in litigation concerning oil and gas leases, abortion access, LGBTQ+ health care and other adjacent issues.
As in the attorney general’s race, the candidates for treasurer are vying for a spot currently held by someone who ran for governor in the October primary. John Schroder announced he would not run for reelection, in his bid for the state’s highest office. Of the three candidates who ran for treasurer in October, two will appear on the November runoff ballot:
- John Fleming, a physician and former Louisiana congressman from Minden who held several appointments in the Trump administration — Republican
- Dustin Granger, a financial planner from Lake Charles — Democrat
Fleming and Granger spoke with Louisiana Considered this month as part of our series of interviews with candidates for statewide office.
Candidates: The candidates’ perspectives on how to steward the state’s financial assets are as divergent as their political views. Several fundamental questions about issues like oil and gas investment and the state’s deepening insurance crisis have emerged as major issues in the treasurer’s race.
Granger, a Democrat, wants to move Louisiana away from investing in oil and gas. Instead, he said, he wants to pivot toward investing in renewable energy and firms with environmental, social and governance — also known as ESG — policies, something many conservative politicians in Louisiana oppose.
He has emphasized the state’s ongoing insurance crisis – with rates skyrocketing and insurers leaving the state, forcing many homeowners out of coastal regions and putting home ownership out of reach for others — as a top issue for the treasurer’s office to tackle, if he’s elected. And he said he wants to diversify Louisiana’s economy by financing capital projects that will bring in a wide range of high-paying jobs and help reverse out-migration from the state.
Fleming, a Republican, represented Louisiana’s 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2009 until 2017 and was a founding member of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus. Fleming said that he sees the most important role of the state treasurer as protecting state taxpayer dollars through safe and smart investment.
If elected, he said he would work with the governor and Legislature to look for ways to “move our state forward economically.” He has said he has reservations about ESG-based investing and is skeptical of the idea of the state making investments in renewable energy without comparing returns with other types of investments, suggesting such a priority could be a purely political move.
Responsibilities: Louisiana’s treasurer is responsible for managing the state’s investments and leads the State Bond Commission, which has the authority to allow municipalities across the state to levy taxes and take on debt. The commission also manages the state’s debt, which, according to the SBC website, is at about $6.7 billion.
State Legislature and Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
The full Louisiana Legislature — members of both the state Senate and state House of Representatives — was up for election this year. Most of both bodies’ races were already decided by the time the primaries were over — and nearly half of the Legislature ran unopposed.
Twenty seats — two in the Senate and 18 in the House — are headed to a runoff in the November elections. According to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office, voters in 45 parishes will be electing representatives on the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and/or in the state legislature.
Republicans are guaranteed to maintain their supermajority in the Louisiana Senate, meaning they hold two-thirds of those seats and can more easily pass conservative legislation. Republicans could also hold a supermajority in the state House. See all the legislative seats up for runoff in November.
Among several tasks facing new lawmakers will likely be the implementation of a new congressional map in Louisiana. Last week, a federal appeals court set a Jan. 15 deadline for the Legislature to draw a new map.
Gov.-elect Landry has said he will call a special session to address the state’s congressional maps when he takes office in the new year. But Landry’s inauguration is not until Jan. 8. If he called a special session on his inauguration day, the Legislature would still have to wait one week to convene, which would be on the Jan. 15 deadline. It is unclear whether Gov. John Bel Edwards will call a special session before the new year.
Two seats on the state’s school board are on the ballot in the 4th and 7th districts in the western half of the state. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education — or BESE — is the policy-making body that governs the state's K-12 schools.
Specific races vary by location — be sure to check your sample ballot at the secretary of state’s voter portal — but many voters will see state representatives, sheriffs, school board members, district judges, clerks and other public officials on the ballot.
According to the secretary of state’s office, voters in 61 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes will have at least one local election on their ballots. Only West Carroll Parish will vote strictly for statewide offices and the constitutional amendment proposals.
Many local news organizations are covering local races. Here is a handful of guides from around the state:
- Lafayette — The Current
- New Orleans — Verite News (also in Spanish and Vietnamese)
- New Orleans — Axios New Orleans
- Shreveport & Bossier City — Shreveport-Bossier City Advocate
- Southeast Louisiana — Times-Picayune/NOLA.com
- New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Acadiana — The Advocate
- Monroe — KNOE-TV
What do I need to know about voting in Louisiana?
Whether you’re a new voter, new to the state or have been voting for years but just want a refresher, here’s a basic guide to help you navigate the process — with more on how to check if you're registered to vote, how to find out what's on your ballot, how to get help while you're at the polling place, and more.
If you have more questions about voting in Louisiana, try the secretary of state’s guide, its voter portal and information center at GeauxVote.com or the agency’s guides on several types of voting, from audio voting for visually impaired voters to how to vote from a nursing home.