Dec. 10 ballot to decide 3 constitutional amendments

Dylan Berman, Contributing Writer

Louisiana voters will decide several more state constitutional amendment on a Dec. 10 ballot. (Jude Papillion)

Louisiana voters have several amendments to the state constitution and a position up for election on Dec. 10. 

The first of three constitutional amendments would prohibit any person that is not a citizen of the United States from registering to vote in Louisiana. 

“This means really nothing,” political science professor, Rosalind Cook, said, citing the 14th amendment, which stipulates U.S. voters must be citizens. “It’s already in there.” 

The second of three constitutional amendments concerns whether or not a person appointed to the State Civil Service Commission should be subject to confirmation by the Louisiana Senate. The primary duty of the State Civil Service Commission, a seven member board, is to adjudicate issues related to State Civil Service Rules. These rules regulate the activities of state personnel. The commission also hears appeals from state personnel. 

The final amendment will decide whether a person appointed to the State Police Commission should also undergo confirmation by the state Senate. Like the State Civil Service Commission, the State Police Commission is composed of seven members. The State Police Commission is an independent authority which has final say over issues regarding the State Police Commission Rules.

Cook said that the reason behind this amendment may be “perhaps because of problems that they have uncovered concerning the state police” and recent incidents where police “unduly” mistreated citizens. 

The Governor typically makes State Police appointments. 

“It is behind closed doors,” Cook said. “And so that is, perhaps, where citizens may think that it’s taking away some of the power that a citizen may have.”

A third seat on the Public Service Commission is also up for election. This race spans multiple parishes, including Orleans Parish. The Public Service Commission’s primary power is in relation to utilities.

The deadline for both online registration, in-person voter registration and absentee ballot requests for the upcoming election has passed. Voters must be registered citizens of the United States, residents of Louisiana and 18 years of age. 

Cook said she believes voter turnout on Dec. 10 will be lower than the midterm elections but encouraged everyone, including young people, to vote. 

“I would suggest that everyone votes,” Cook said. “Vote anytime you have something on the ballot that you can vote on.”

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