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A Lufkin woman was struck and killed by lightning during last night's storms.Around 10:30 p.m., a 32-year-old I-HOP employee was standing in the parking lot holding an umbrella when lightning struck her,More >>
A Lufkin woman was struck and killed by lightning during last night's storms.More >>
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -
ranks first in the country for the number of elections held each year and it's
not even a close race. When all the votes are cast and counted, taxpayers
are stuck with a hefty bill. The 9News I-Team examined state figures to
track your money.
politics is sometimes referred to as a "spectator sport." It's not
uncommon for some politico to say on Election Day, "Vote early and vote
often." The truth is Louisiana has,
by far, more elections than any other state in the country. The Bayou State has
held 70 elections in just the past five years.
closest to us, I believe, is Georgia at 38, Florida at 35 then North Carolina
is at nine," said Secretary of State Tom Schedler. "I've always said
a progressive state like North Carolina can have nine elections, while we had
70. Something's wrong and we have to do something about it."
says the cost of holding so many elections is what concerns him most. He
estimates the state spends $1,200 per precinct for each election. That means a
single statewide vote can cost more than $5 million. The recent CATS tax
proposition cost East Baton Rouge Parish taxpayers $265,000. Less than
one-third of eligible voters (31 percent) went to the polls in that election.
In West Baton Rouge, a parish-wide Council on Aging and museum tax passed at
the cost of $34,000. In Ascension Parish, Donaldsonville held an election on
roads and fire protection that cost tax payers $13,200 with just 10 percent
voter turnout. And, in Livingston Parish, a single school district renewal was
passed at a cost of $94,800 and only about six percent of voters cast ballots.
apathy is at an all time high. I think it emulates from just people's
frustration with government at all levels, starting with the federal government,"
issue with so many elections is trying to find qualified commissioners. Those
are the people who check you in at the polls and make sure you're eligible to
vote. For example, in Iberville Parish, Clerk of Court J.G. "Bubbie"
Dupont's pool of commissioners is dwindling, in large part because of so many
looks like every year, Lord, I've been doing elections here for a bunch of
years, looks like every year, it's harder and harder to get
commissioners," Dupont said. "All our commissioners are passing away
or retiring and the younger people just aren't interested in working Election
even have situations that have occurred recently when we have early voting
overlapping with another election at the same time, which is totally ludicrous,"
there's so many elections held in Louisiana is because so many different
entities have the power to call for an election.
of state is the chief elections officer, but the secretary of state has absolutely
no say so on when an election is called in Louisiana and I think we ought to
change that," Schedler said.
no doubt, would have to be put to a vote.