Turnout for the midterm elections in Louisiana was 48 percent, a touch above early estimations that national turnout was 47 percent. LSU Public Policy Research Lab Director Professor Mike Henderson says it’s a notable number, considering Louisiana lacked any high profile statewide elections, but it’s only a bit higher than the last major midterm in 2014…

“Our turnout in the state for those kind of midterm elections, has been on the rise over the last few decades. This is part of a trend.”

While Louisiana’s federal election participation is going up, state election participation has cratered.

“When you flip to state government elections, where so much of the things is handled by state government, turnout in those elections has been on the decline since the early 80s.”

Only 40 percent of eligible voters participated in the 2015 governor’s race run-off between David Vitter and now Governor Edwards.

It tough to answer exactly why Louisianans have grown less engaged with state issues over the decades, but Henderson says it could be due to a media climate that’s increasingly focused on high profile races for federal seats.

“It’s the national environment and the prominence of that on cable news, and you see it in the papers.”

Louisiana’s next statewide election is in December for the Secretary of State’s run-off.

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