Voter turnout continues to decrease in Louisiana
Posted on 10/18/2017 12:52:00 PM.

LSU political communication professor Mike Henderson finds that voter turnout for statewide elections has been on a decline for the last 30 years. In 1983, 54-percent of the eligible voters voted for governor and in 2015 the voter turnout was down to 33-percent. Last weekend’s special election saw only a 13-percent turnout. Henderson says the voting public seems to be burned out on state politics.

"We've had a lot of competitive statewide elections the last few years, so maybe there's less campaigning going on", Henderson said.  "But what's also going on is this is a long term decline in Louisiana participation." 

Henderson hopes more information on the issues and the candidates could help increase voter participation, but it could also backfire.

"So even if we sort of got it out there all the time, are people going to pay attention to it?  Even if trying to push this stuff more, it would help but probably not help a lot", Henderson said.

Is it possible that having statewide elections on Saturday hurts voter turnout? Henderson says there are two trains of thought.

"Maybe fewer people are working and therefore they have more time to go and participate in the election.  The other thing you sometimes hear in Louisiana is that Saturdays elections in the fall could run up against the football game.  But there's  no real evidence that it pushes things down much."
Louisiana voter turnout, Mike Henderson, saturday elections

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