On Tuesday, Nov. 6, the world will watch as a historic presidential election comes to a climax. And as many of you have already made up your mind on the presidential candidate best fit for the job, you may find yourself in the voting booth wondering about the other 11 items on the ballot.
First off, let’s make sure we know where to vote in Jefferson Parish. Polling places will be open from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. If you have questions about your voting registration, you will need to contact the Registrar of Voters.
Now that we know where to go, let’s talk about the important items on the ballot in Jefferson. The U. S. Representative 1st Congressional District seat is up for grabs with incumbent Steve Scalise(R) looking to keep the spot after being elected in 2008. This will be the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Louisiana’s 1st congressional district encompasses St. Tammany, Orleans, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, Lafourche, and Terrbonne parishes in southeastern Louisiana. You can check out the new district map here.
With over 65% of our chamber members being small businesses, we always advise citizens to look at how our legislators vote on small business issues when deciding. (Also read: Chamber Recognizes Legislators as Guardians of Small Business)
The biggest chunk of the ballot belongs to nine proposed amendments to the Louisiana Constitution. Approved by legislators during the 2012 Regular Session, amendments receiving a majority vote in the statewide election will be enacted. Each year, the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR) puts together a non-partisan guide to help voters understand the details of what they are voting for. PAR’s Guide to the 2012 Constitutional Amendments provides probable outcomes of a vote for, or against each individual proposed amendment.
One issue that will be on the ballot solely for Jefferson, Orleans and Plaquemines voters is the renewal of the Crescent City Connection Tolls. A large group of business leaders, including the Jefferson Chamber have formed a coalition in support of keeping the tolls. The “Bridging Progress” coalition says the loss of the $22 million in annual toll revenue will have a dramatic affect on the region, losing the ability of garnering transportation funding for local projects. Todd Murphy, Jefferson Chamber President says that in keeping the tolls, we can ensure future economic development and quality of life for our region. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu led a group of elected officials this morning in support of the tolls, stating that “the region’s ability to compete nationally would be jeopardized if voters rejected the dedicated funding source the tolls provide for the bridge.” (Read: If Crescent City Connection tolls expire, region faces possible setback, elected officials say)