Unofficial numbers show less than half of Louisiana voters cast a midterm ballot

Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 10:52 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Of the three million Louisiana registered voters, only 1.3 million actually cast a ballot in the 2022 midterms, according to unofficial numbers from the Secretary of State’s Office. That means only about 45% of eligible voters participated in an election that had been a topic of discussion for months now.

The 1.3 million voters this year is also 5% less than the voter turnout in the last midterms in 2018.

Dillard University professor and political analyst Dr. Robert Collins believes the low voter count is due to a lack of excitement statewide.

“Whoever is at the top of the ballot, drives the rest of the ballot,” Collins said. “All of our incumbents are so entrenched so they say, ‘Well it’s not going to make a difference anyway. Kennedy is going to win, or It’s not going to make any difference. Steve Scalise never really gets any opposition.’”

Despite 12 challengers, Republican John Kennedy secured another six years in his Senate seat with 62% of the vote. Collins says a lack of a clear and strong challenger shifted the low vote over to the incumbent, a trend that’s evident for every member of the state’s congressional delegation.

District 1 re-elected Republican Steve Scalise and District 2 voted again for Democrat Troy Carter. Districts 3-6 all voted for Republican incumbents Clay Higgins, Mike Johnson, Julia Letlow and Garret Graves respectively.

Collins says the lack of opposition stems from familiar political figures raising more money than their new, unfamiliar challengers.

“They are going to outspend you 3-1, 4-1, 5-1,” he said. “So unless you’re independent and wealthy, it’s very difficult to raise enough money to purchase equal air time and really be competitive.”

The Kennedy campaign raised a whopping $38,574,866.79 in order to beat out its challengers. Democrat Gary Chambers received the second most votes at only 18%. Chambers’ campaign only raised $1,644,296.79.

Collins also says Louisiana’s congressional map also helps those already seated.

“The majority of districts are gerrymandered during the redistricting process specifically to protect the incumbents,” he said.

On another note, Louisiana saw a .8$ increase in registered voters ahead of the 2022 election compared to the last midterms.

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