Parish voters kept to state patterns

Published 4:07 am Friday, November 11, 2016

On Wednesday, with Election Day in the rear view mirror, Washington Parish Clerk of Court Johnny Crain, reported no problems across the parish.

“Everything went good,” he said. “We had no major problems. The voting was steady all day long.”

Crain said there was no evidence of voter intimidation or malfeasance and there were no mechanical issues. Crain said two polling places lost power due to storms, but the ballot boxes had batteries, so they never lost power.

Across the state, 67.1 percent of registered voters turned out, just under the 2012 turnout of 67.3 percent. Crain said Washington Parish followed that trend.

“This year, we are projecting … about 67 percent,” Crain said. “That’ll be official Thursday.”

Crain said in 2012, 68 percent of registered voters voted. However, Crain said the parish has more voters now — 27,998 people — than it did in 2012, so the smaller percentage could still mean more people showed up to vote.

Republican Donald Trump swept Louisiana, winning easily over Democrat Hillary Clinton, 58 percent to 38 percent.

Washington Parish seemed to follow all state trends all the way down the ballot in Tuesday’s election. The parish handed Trump a win of 67 percent over Clinton’s 31 percent. The Associated Press called the presidential race for Trump at approximately 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

In other races, Louisiana voters did not pick an outright winner in the senate race so Democrat Foster Campbell (17 percent of the vote) will go up against Republican John Kennedy (25 percent) in a Dec. 10 runoff. In Washington Parish, Campbell still came in second with 13 percent of the vote and Kennedy with a plurality of 39 percent.

U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, a Republican, easily won re-election in his 5th Congressional District race, taking in 82 percent of the vote. In Washington Parish, he got 68 percent against his opponent Billy Burkette, a Republican who got 32 percent in the parish.

Deeper on the ballot, voters statewide were asked to approve six constitutional amendments and the parish outcomes mirrored statewide results.

• Amendment No. 1 — 73 percent of Louisianans agreed registrars of voters should have more qualifications. In Washington Parish, 69 percent of the voters agreed.

• Amendment No. 2 — 57 percent of Louisianans opposed colleges and universities setting their own tuition. In Washington Parish, 62 percent felt the same way.

• Amendment No. 3 —  56 percent of Louisianans opposed doing away with certain corporate tax deductions. Locally, 57 percent of parish voters agreed.

• Amendment No. 4 — 72 percent of statewide voters agreed to give homestead exemptions to unmarried widows of those killed while on active duty. In Washington Parish, 70 percent agreed.

• Amendment No. 5 — 54 percent of voters in Louisiana approved a new revenue stabilization fund and 52 percent of local voters approved the measure.

• Amendment No. 6 — 58 percent of statewide voters rejected a mechanism to access emergency cash during a budget shortfall. In the parish, 61 percent of voters rejected the same measure.