BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Early voting for the runoff elections starts Saturday, and on the ballot are three constitutional amendments voters will get to decide on.
Amendment One on the December ballot looks to ensure people who are not U.S. citizens can not register to vote and cast ballots in Louisiana.
Louisiana already has laws on the books that someone registering to vote has to attest that they are a citizen and federal law prohibits non-citizens from voting in federal elections. Some states have allowed non-citizens to register for local elections which this amendment looks to prevent by clearing away any possible loopholes in the law.
Only the state legislature can change election laws, not local municipalities. It would be unlikely changes would be made to allow non-citizens to register to vote. A vote yes on the almost symbolic vote would reinforce the ban on non-citizens voting in the state. A vote no would not add the language and keep the current restrictions in place.
Down the ballot, Amendment Two looks to give legislative oversight to the appointments to the state Civil Service Commission. The board is in charge of governing personnel issues for state workers.
The seven-member commission has six members selected by the governor, which he chooses from nominees given to him by the major private universities in the state (Centenary College, Dillard University, Louisiana Christian University, Loyola University, Tulane University, and Xavier University.)
A vote yes would let the state senate vet the appointees and give final approval, similar to other boards in the state. A vote of no would keep the process the same without legislative approval.
Amendment Three would also allow the state senate to approve members of the State Police Commission. The board oversees personnel and disciplinary issues for the officers employed by the agency. Currently, they are appointed by the governor he selects out of the private universities’ nominations.
Those in support want to have checks and balances for the Louisiana State Police, especially after recent controversies in the agency. Those against believe it brings politics into law enforcement and how they handle punishments within the department.
Election day is December 10th.
To read more on the arguments for or against the amendments visit the Public Affairs Research Council’s amendment guide.