Louisiana election laws are disservice to community

Published 12:21 am Sunday, May 29, 2016

Louisiana’s conflicting election laws occasionally make for incredibly long periods of time between elections and the new administrations taking office.

In presidential election years, municipal elections in small Louisiana communities are moved up to coincide with the state’s presidential partisan primaries.

The result can be a bit frustrating — for elected officials, those that win and those that lose — with nearly four months of time between the March election and taking office July 1.

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For the winners, who were not incumbents, they must sit on the sidelines having earned the privilege bestowed upon them by voters, but being powerless to help.

The delay also sets up a potential disaster of sorts for the losers. They can simply “check out” from their duties and continue to collect their pay for holding office.

For Vidalia’s newly elected leadership, apparently some of the losing incumbents have been less-than-helpful — we’ve been told — in showing hospitality to their replacements.

While it’s understandable those people would be upset by their losses, their unwillingness to be fully supportive of their replacements and offer any assistance they can does harm mostly to the public they swore to serve.

Next legislative session, we hope Louisiana lawmakers will consider changing the state statute that creates the marathon lame-duck season. Doing so would benefit the public greatly.