2019 Louisiana Democratic Socialist Voting Guide

A Project of New Orleans DSA Email the Municipal Action Committee at municipal@dsaneworleans.org or see what we’re working on at dsaneworleans.org/events.

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States. We are socialists because we believe that our work and economy should be organized for the collective benefit of those who do the work and create products, not for the profit of the ownership class. We struggle for a socialist, feminist, and anti-racist transformation of our society for the benefit of all, not the few.

After the candidate qualifying process, we reached out to all legislative candidates and sent them a 30-question issue survey, which can be viewed online at dsaneworleans.org/2019candidates. Their answers and extensive research into their backgrounds, finances, voting records, and public positions informed this voter guide. More than 20 DSA members contributed to the research, writing, editing, and design of this project, among us service industry workers, social workers, secretaries, educators, attorneys, students, and professional organizers. Collectively we have brought our experience and knowledge about the way government systems and elected representatives affect our lives in material ways.

One of our goals was to provide detailed context about the industries, special interests, and wealthy citizens that influence not just the results of political races but the talking points, issues, and stakes for each race. In Louisiana, we have a complex system of unelected officials adjacent to government working to maintain the status quo and keep the people in the dark. This is not democracy. It is an oligarchy.

The context we provide in this guide is filtered through our socialist perspective that political organizing is about building collective power to materially improve working people’s lives. The only way to counteract the influence of organized capital is to gather poor and working-class people together to demand justice, equity, and transformation at all levels of government. We believe that we must be both students and teachers of each other. We believe providing a power analysis is more valuable to citizens than supplying them with a checklist of recommended candidates.

We looked at every statewide office, the constitutional amendments, and nearly every race in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes, with some races from the Northshore, River Parishes, and Plaquemines thrown in for good measure. As socialists, we consider all governments to be interrelated, and this is particularly true in Louisiana, where economic conditions and climate change frequently displace workers. All of us should have better public resources, not just those of us in populous urban centers.

This guide is meant to house institutional knowledge of Louisiana’s politics. We have more than 200 DSA members in New Orleans and more than 300 statewide. If you have any questions or want to get involved, email hello@dsaneworleans.org.

Make a Plan to Vote

Visit the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website, geauxvote.com, to locate your polling place and view a sample ballot.

For ease, it is recommended that you bring your state-issued ID to the polls, but it is NOT REQUIRED. If you do not have a photo ID, you may still cast your vote by signature on a voter affidavit.

Election day is Saturday, October 12. Voting hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You are allowed to vote as long as you are in line by 8 p.m.

Early voting is Sept. 28-Oct. 5 from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (except Sunday, Sept. 29) You can find early voting locations at geauxvote.com.

The deadline to request an absentee by mail ballot is Oct. 8 by 4:30 p.m. You can request an absentee by mail ballot through geauxvote.com or in writing through your Registrar of Voters Office (other than military and overseas voters), which can be found online at voterportal.sos.la.gov/registrar.

The deadline for a registrar of voters to receive a voted mail ballot is Oct. 11 by 4:30 p.m. (other than military and overseas voters).

If you’re not registered to vote in this election, you can still register to vote in the general election on November 16. The deadline to register to vote in person or by email is October 16, and the deadline to register using the geauxvote.com system provided by the Secretary of State is October 26.