The Blanket Primary in Louisiana

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The Blanket Primary in Louisiana

By | August 2013
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The Blanket Primary in Louisiana

The Blanket Primary in Louisiana is “unique primary system”. The Blanket Primary is also known as a “Jungle” Primary in Partisan elections. The reason it’s called a blanket primary is because the party affiliation is not mentioned on the ballot. The winner of the primary is the candidate who has the majority of the vote. If two candidates have the majority of the vote, they run against each other in a run off regardless of their party affiliation. In Louisiana, there is a possibility that a Republican can run against another Republican if two Republicans happen to have the majority of the vote. The blanket primary was established by Governor Edwin Edwards in the 1980’s. Governor Edwards was a Democrat. He basically created the blanket policy because he wanted to give Democrats a chance to beat the Republicans in office by forcing them into the same election as the Libertarians, Democrats, and Independents. Tannahill believes that this was one of the main reasons that Edwards won four consecutive terms as governor. (Another possibility could be the aspect of retrospective voting.) I believe this was one of the reasons why voters kept Edwards in office regardless of his allegations for racketeering. Louisiana had a domineering Republican candidacy and without having the party affiliations on the ballot, voters were responsible for researching the background of the candidates since they could not see which party their favorite candidate was affiliated with.

The advantages of the blanket primary system in Louisiana include the fact that voter who usually vote for their affiliated party (regardless of the candidates experience or personal goals in office) , is now forced to research the candidates and find information about their views and objectives without the media trying to sway them. They are able to focus on the potential the candidates have as opposed to their support system. The blanket primary system also allows...
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