Monday, 10 March 2008

Run-off in the first

The GOP primary in the first congressional district election to replace Bobby Jindal in the House is headed to a run-off election next month, as southshore candidate Steve Scalise came up short of the absolute majority he needed to avoid facing the second-place candidate on April 5th. This also means that the general election will take place on May 3rd, where he will face Gilda Reed and two independents in Louisiana's first plurality-winner election to Congress in 30 years.

At least in my precinct, the turnout in the special primary election was abysmal; we had 27 voters (11 Democrats and independents, 16 Republicans) out of 512 registered voters in 14 hours. On the upside, at least we didn’t have to turn anyone away or fiddle with provisional ballots this time around.


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I did not think Louisiana had partisan primaries at all. I thought it was just top-two runoff. Past elections have sometimes featured two Democrats in the “general” (i.e. runoff).

Has the law been changed, or are special elections different?


The “jungle primary” was repealed for elections to Congress in 2006 and replaced with majority-runoff party primaries followed by a plurality general election; basically, there was no way to make the jungle primary comport with the federal requirement that the general election be held on the same day nationwide. I suppose they could have decided to use an instant runoff or some other ranked-ballot method (given the state’s experience with the Edwards-Duke race, Condorcet might be appealing here), but they didn’t—our voting machines seem to only support binary voting systems directly, which may be have been a part of the reasoning. (We can do approval voting and its cousins, but nothing ranked.)

The jungle primary is still used for elections to state and local offices.

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