November ballot: Understanding 9 LA constitutional amendments

Published: Oct. 9, 2012 at 7:56 PM CDT|Updated: Jan. 31, 2013 at 7:37 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The November 6th ballot on Election Day will not only include big names, it will also contain nine amendments to the Louisiana constitution that may be hard to understand.

Many of them will appear in what could be considered tough, technical, legal language- not easily understood by the average voter.

The Public Affairs Research Council has once again constructed a guide that explains the pros and cons of each amendment in language that is much easier to understand.

You can get a copy of the PAR Guide to the 2012 Constitutional Amendments by clicking here.

"People who follow legislative issues at the state Capitol, even those folks have trouble understanding some of these amendments," said Robert Travis Scott, President of the Public Affairs Research Council.

"We try to explain the for and against, we try to explain the background and context and let you make up your own mind on how you want to vote on these."

One amendment that has garnered a lot of attention is number two on the ballot.

It deals with using strict scrutiny review for gun laws in Louisiana.

Scott explains the amendment using Tiger Stadium as an example.

"If you had a law that said you cannot bring guns into the stadium itself and you had another type of law or concept that prevented guns within a mile radius of the stadium, well under strict review that mile radius law would have a much harder time passing muster with the courts than the more narrowly defined law that just placed restrictions on Tiger Stadium," Scott explains."

"It doesn't say how the courts would view either one of those, but it gives you an example of how that process would work."

PAR urges voters to read the guide and don't go into the vote booth without having made up your mind on the amendments.

"Get your check list ready, we've got a checklist on the front that you can take into that voting booth with you- decide before you go in," Scott said.

"You don't want to be reading these long ballot items without having already made up your mind."

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.