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Louisiana’s Long-Term Election Experiment

Check out our latest research on Louisiana's nonpartisan election system

Unite America
November 1, 2022

Dr. Richard Barton of the Unite America Institute analyzes the first and only state to eliminate primaries altogether: Louisiana. Having implemented a nonpartisan election system in 1975, Louisiana provides an opportunity for longer-term analysis of the impacts of eliminating partisan primaries. Barton finds that Louisiana’s election system has led to increased meaningful participation, decreased ideological and partisan polarization, and improved the quality of governance, particularly on issues related to health and education. Across these areas, Louisiana performs particularly well compared to its peer states in the south, all of which have partisan primaries. The report highlights a lesser-known election system that has both existed for decades and led to notable benefits; its findings can inform advocates in understanding the full array of nonpartisan election systems that exist today.

Read the full report here.