Historic Election

Historic Election

32,046 Voted Early in EBR; Big Turnout Is Forecast Here

BATON ROUGE — If early voting is any indication, the turnout for next Tuesday’s election will be quite large.  In eight days of early voting in East Baton Rouge Parish, 32,046 voters cast their ballots.  Statewide early voting was up by 21 percent over 2008.

It will be an historic election.  Three races will be especially important because they could result in major changes in policy:

• President of the United States

• Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish

• Associate Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court

At the national level, Republican Mitt Romney, who is leading narrowly in most polls, promises to reduce the size and cost of the federal government and take it in a different direction from President Obama.

Likewise, at the parish level, Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Walker, who is challenging incumbent Mayor-President Kip Holden, is expected to lead an effort to reduce the size and cost of the City-Parish government if he is elected.

The race for the Louisiana Supreme Court is particularly significant because the election of a conservative Republican to the court from the Baton Rouge area would give the court a solid 4-3 conservative majority.  Chief Justice Kitty Kimball, who announced her retirement at the end of the year, is considered a more liberal member of the court.

Five Republican judges are among eight candidates seeking the Supreme Court seat, and most experts predict a Republican victory, although Court of Appeal Judge John Michael Guidry, a Democrat, is also considered a formidable candidate.

Besides President, Mayor-President, and state Supreme Court, the remaining voters in East Baton Rouge Parish will help choose a Court of Appeal Judge, two City Judges, several members of the Metro Council, City Constable, and the Ward 3 Constable for the Justice of the Peace Court.

Voters will also decide the fate of nine proposed amendments to the Louisiana Constitution, a renewal of a Mosquito Control tax, and term limits for school board members.

In East Baton Rouge Parish, there are four school districts — East Baton Rouge, Baker, Central, and Zachary — and voters in each school district will decide in a separate vote whether to impose term limits on school board members.  If the referendum is approved in a district, board members would be limited to three four-year terms.

On Tuesday, the polls will open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

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