Your Guide to the Midterm Election in New Orleans This November
Everything you need to know to make sure your vote counts in 2022.
The 2022 Midterm Election is coming up on Tuesday, November 8, with all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate up for grabs across the nation.
In Louisiana, there’s the Open Congressional Primary and New Orleans residents are voting on statewide, parishwide, and limited jurisdiction positions and propositions.
One item of note—that highlights why it's so important to cast your vote—is the 2022 Louisiana congressional redistricting following the 2020 census. Though Louisiana’s population is about one-third Black, the redistricting resulted in only one staunchly Democratic majority Black district out of six. This was essentially the same representation as before, despite an increasing Black population, and many agree that it’s racial gerrymandering which goes against the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The Louisiana legislature drew a redistricting map. Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed it on the grounds that it didn’t add a second majority-minority district, representative of the state’s current demographics. The Louisiana legislature overrode the governor’s veto. Civil Rights groups and Black voters filed a federal lawsuit (Robinson et al v. Ardoin). Then there was a hearing, appeal, special session, administrative stay, another special session, House Bills, testimonies, more special sessions, another stay, an amicus curiae brief (Alabama’s Merrill v. Milligan)—months of back and forth. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear Merrill v. Milligan on October 4, once the new term has begun, with a ruling anticipated for spring 2023. That, unfortunately, won’t affect the current election but will hopefully result in fair representation from 2023 and beyond.
What’s on the ballot?
On New Orleans’ November 8, 2022 ballot, there are eight constitutional amendments, a parishwide amendment, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative 1st Congressional District or U.S. Representative 2nd Congressional District, Court of Appeal 4th Circuit at Large Judge, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Municipal and Traffic Court Division D Judge, Municipal and Traffic Court Division E Judge, and 1st City Court Clerk.
You can see your exact ballot using the Geaux Vote app or on the Louisiana Secretary of State’s voting portal.
Many ballots will include State Senator 5th Senatorial District, a special election with no runoff, to fill the position vacated by 23-year veteran Karen Carter Peterson.
Some will include Member of School Board District 1, Delachaise Security and Improvement District Proposition, Huntsville Security and Neighborhood Improvement District Proposition, and/or Lake Oaks Subdivision Improvement District Proposition.
One of the eight Louisiana constitutional amendments, Constitutional Amendment 7 (slavery), on the ballot posits adding language to Article I, Section 3 (Right to Dignity) that would eliminate involuntary servitude as punishment for crime. The Louisiana constitution currently reads, “Slavery and involuntary servitude are prohibited, except in the latter case as punishment for crime.” Amendment 7, if passed, would delete the exception and prohibit it altogether.
This matters because many Louisianians are in correctional facilities, where they are working constantly for little or no pay. According to Prison Policy, Louisiana incarcerates more of its citizens than any other democracy. According to the Louisiana ACLU, prisoners earn between $0.02 and $0.40 per hour. They are working some of the same jobs as people outside of prison, for a fraction of the pay. At Louisiana State Penitentiary, better known as Angola, prisoners work land on a former plantation, with the same crops as during slavery, for only two cents an hour. The crops’ yield is often sold to big companies, at a normal rate.
For the U.S. Senate seat 13 candidates are on the ballot including Beryl A. Billiot (No Party), Gary Chambers Jr., (D), Devin Lance Graham (R), “Xan” John, (O), John Kennedy (R - incumbent), W. Thomas La Fontaine Olson (No Party), Bradley McMorris (I), MV “Vinny” Mendoza (D), “Luke” Mixon (D), Salvador P. Rodriguez (D), Aaron C. Sigler (L), Syrita Steib (D), and Thoman Wenn (Other).
Katie Darling (D) and Howard Kearney (L) are vying to unseat Steve Scalise (R) for U.S. Representative 1st Congressional District. And, for U.S. Representative 2nd Congressional District, Troy A. Carter (Democrat - incumbent) is up against “Dan” Lux (R).
Mandie Landry (D) and Royce Duplessis (D) are fighting to fill the position vacated by 23-year veteran Karen Carter Peterson for State Senator 5th Senatorial District, a special election with no runoff.
Derek Russ (D) is attempting to unseat Mark J. Shea (D) for Municipal and Traffic Court Division D Judge. For Municipal and Traffic Court Division E Judge, it’s between Geoffrey L. Gates (D) and Bobbie Smith (D).
What Louisiana constitutional amendments are on the ballot?
- Constitutional Amendment No. 1 (ACT 130, 2021 - HB 154) - Modifies the maximum amount of monies in certain state funds that may be invested in equities.
- Constitutional Amendment No. 2 (ACT 172, 2022 - HB 599) - Expands property tax exemptions for homestead exemption property for veterans with disabilities.
- Constitutional Amendment No. 3 (ACT 156, 2021 - HB 315) - Allows classified civil service employees to support election of family members to public office.
- Constitutional Amendment No. 4 (ACT 155, 2021 - HB 59) - Authorizes a political subdivision to waive charges for water under certain circumstances.
- Constitutional Amendment No. 5 (ACT 133, 2021 - SB 154) - Provides relative to property tax millage rate adjustments and maximum authorized millage rates.
- Constitutional Amendment No. 6 (ACT 129, 2021 - HB 143) - Limits the increase in assessed value of certain property following reappraisal in Orleans Parish.
- Constitutional Amendment No. 7 (ACT 246, 2022 - HB 298) - Provides relative to the prohibition of involuntary servitude and administration of criminal justice.
- Constitutional Amendment No. 8 (ACT 171, 2022 - HB 395) - Removes requirement of annual certification of income for certain eligible disabled homeowners.
What’s the parishwide amendment?
Parishwide Home Rule Charter Amendment (Art. IV, Sec. 4-106) - Requires New Orleans City Council approval of any person appointed by the Mayor of Chief Administrative Officer to head any office, unit, department, commission, or board created or recognized in the Home Rule Charter or otherwise established pursuant to the Home Rule Charter.
What’s the deadline to register to vote in New Orleans?
October 11 is the deadline to register by mail or in-person. In-person registration can be done at the Registrar of Voters, any Office of Motor Vehicles, WIC, SNAP, Medicaid, Armed Forces, Department of Children and Family Services offices, or at any place serving people with disabilities.
The online deadline to register is October 18.
Can I vote early?
Yes! Early voting takes place October 25 to November 1 (except Sunday October 26) from 8:30 am to 6 pm.
Can I vote by mail?
Yes, but only under certain circumstances such as hospitalization, being over 65 years old, residing in an inpatient mental health care facility, and military deployment. The deadline to register for absentee/mail voting is November 4 at 4:30 pm and those absentee/mail ballots must be received no later November 7 at 4:30 pm. For voters who are in the military, overseas, or hospitalized, the deadline to return mail ballots is November 8 at 8 pm. Absentee ballots can be tracked online at the voter portal.
How to find your polling place:
Use the Geaux Vote app or visit the Louisiana Secretary of State’s voting portal to find your polling place. Polls are open from 6 am till 8 pm.
How to become an election worker:
Being an election worker is an easy way to make money and serve the community. The application process and training are easy too. There are three types of election workers: election day, early voting, and absentee. Each has its own requirements and pay, and you must be able to work the full shift without leaving. Visit the Louisiana Secretary of State’s voting portal to learn how to apply to be a Louisiana poll worker.
How to contact someone for help: