BATON ROUGE, LA (October 14, 2020) – With Early Voting starting Friday, and voters across Louisiana set to elect dozens of judges from the Louisiana Supreme Court on down, there’s a new tool to help them better understand how those judges are elected, and by whom. The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry’s (LABI) Louisiana Free Enterprise Institute (LFEI) today unveiled a new, added feature of its judicial transparency website, www.LouisianaJudiciary.com, which includes never before published maps of judicial election sections, along with accompanying demographics.
“With so many contested judicial seats on District Courts, Courts of Appeal and the Louisiana Supreme Court, it can be difficult to decipher exactly who votes for whom,” said Lauren Chauvin, Director of LABI’s Judicial Program. “When it comes down to a particular district, election section and division, even the candidates themselves are often at a loss to identify the boundaries of their electorate. In most cases, all that exists are legal descriptions of precincts, many of which have been amended over the decades by court decree and other modes of modification – until now. Now, voters can visit www.LouisianaJudiciary.com and see exactly what part of a district elects a particular JDC or appellate court judge. We believe, particularly ahead of redistricting in 2021, this will help Louisiana citizens better understand their judiciary, which is ultimately our goal with this transparency effort.”
LFEI launched LouisianaJudiciary.com in July, as an easily navigable warehouse of information on the Judicial District Courts, Courts of Appeal and La. Supreme Court. At the site, citizens can use interactive maps to explore the courts, read judges’ biographies, learn when terms end and see where lines are drawn. Compiling information from the Secretary of State, court websites, campaign websites and other sites in the public domain, LouisianaJudiciary.com is the only resource where citizens can find all this information readily available in one place.
“I encourage voters to spend a little time on LouisianaJudiciary.com, you’ll find yourself going down the rabbit hole of maps and demographics and may find yourself questioning, as we did, why these lines haven’t been redrawn in nearly three decades,” said LABI President & CEO Stephen Waguespack. “It’s time every citizen pays closer attention to this third branch of our state government. It’s a powerful responsibility that in Louisiana voters have the right to directly elect our judges. We at LABI want to put as much information out in the public domain as possible to ensure this critical choice is an informed choice.”