One Writer’s Entirely Unbiased Gripes Over the Midterm Elections

Well, after months of campaigning the race for control of the US Senate is over. Well, sort of. With Republicans sweeping 7 seats, they will surely bounce the Democrats from their majority position, but the fight for one of Louisiana’s seats is still on the line. Even though the bumper stickers on my car plainly spell out my political preferences, I firmly believe in your right to choose whoever you want in the ballot box. So, with no lack of straining self control, I’ll do my best to write about Tuesday’s results as far away from partisan lines as possible. Here goes.

Thinking about the election or listening to The National? or both?
Thinking about the election or listening to The National? or both?

If you’ve searched for anything on YouTube or switched on the TV for even a second in the last four months, you’ve probably seen a few ads for and against our candidates, incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu and Baton Rouge based House Representative Bill Cassidy. You’re probably familiar with the rhetoric. “Landrieu votes with Obama X% of the time,” “Bill Cassidy loves guns.” But with all the info out there,  how did we do, Orleans Parish, on election day? and where can we hope to improve on December 6th when the race will be decided for good?

The Louisiana Secretary of State released an official report on voter turnout across the state and we scored at 45.7%, which is not bad when you consider that the states “unofficial” turnout was 50.1%, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. With Orleans Parish boasting the state’s greatest population, Lafayette, St. Tammany, and Ascension lag shortly behind, we have a lot of weight to throw in elections if we come out in full force. They may have taken the capitol, but they can’t take our numbers.

The NYT graph I looked at 100 billion times
The NYT graph I looked at 100 billion times

Stickers. Where were the “I voted” stickers? If they were around, I sure didn’t see them. Out of 250,304 registered voters, I counted zero glossy stickers. Long since sold on Derek Thompson’s 2012 sticker-centric article in The Atlantic, I’ve come to expect the little suckers and truly believe they’re a crucial tool in voter satisfaction and getting out the vote. Let’s make sure we get them come December.

Love these little guys.
Love these little guys.

Polemic aside, give yourself the early gift of democratic participation this holiday season and tell your folks in Feliciana and Plaquemines and Caddo and Catahoula to do it too.

for all the info you need on how to do it: GEAUX VOTE

About Mark

Mark is a native New Orleanian and graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory. A poet and essayist, Mark believes in language, soccer, and charbroiled everything. Catch him talking about it between sets at Tipitinas or in line for the Barrel Proof restroom.

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