Legislature passes bill repealing the state’s nonpartisan primary
In a special session today, the Louisiana Legislature passed a bill to repeal the state’s nonpartisan primary election system. Newly-inaugurated Gov. Jeff Landry first announced his intent to pursue closed primaries less than two weeks ago, and the governor is expected to sign it into law.
The final bill represents a watered-down version of the governor’s initial proposal to close all primary elections for all offices. Instead, Louisiana will have a semi-open primary for federal offices, the state supreme court, the state school board, and the Public Service Commission. Independent voters can still cast ballots in primaries for these offices, but doing so will require choosing which party primary to participate in. The law will not take effect until 2026.
The move from nonpartisan to semi-open primaries for select offices:
Executive Director Nick Troiano released the following statement in response to the bill’s passage:
“Louisiana lawmakers’ first action this session was a taxpayer-funded power grab, ramming through a wildly unpopular repeal of an election system that has been in place for nearly 50 years.
“While we are disheartened by today’s result, we are grateful to the leaders and voters in Louisiana who voted to put people over party and opposed this effort — significantly reducing the scope of the bill to just federal, supreme court offices, and a handful of others while delaying its implementation.
“Louisiana politicians tried this same stunt more than a decade ago and it lasted just two years amid voter confusion and opposition. Unite America is committed to supporting partners on the ground to ensure the same outcome again.”
You can find more information on nonpartisan, semi-open, and closed primaries here.