The Latest: Polls close in Louisiana's open primary election

Published 11-07-2018

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Latest on Louisiana elections (all times local):

8 p.m.

Polls have closed in Louisiana's election.

Top of the ballot is a special election for secretary of state, to fill the remaining year of the term of Republican Tom Schedler, who resigned in May amid a sexual harassment scandal.

Nine candidates are competing, including Schedler's top aide Republican Kyle Ardoin, who has been working as interim secretary of state.

Other Republicans vying for the job include Turkey Creek Mayor Heather Cloud, former Sen. A.G. Crowe, Rep. Rick Edmonds and Rep. Julie Stokes. Democrats include Renee Fontenot Free, a former first assistant to two secretaries of state, and lawyer Gwen Collins-Greenup.

The race is expected to head into a Dec. 8 runoff.

Louisiana's U.S. House seats also are up for grabs, with all six incumbent congressmen seeking re-election.

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6:30 p.m.

The chief elections official in Orleans Parish says turnout has been good and voting operations have been going smoothly.

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The race is expected to head into a Dec. 8 runoff.

Louisiana's U.S. House seats also are up for grabs, with all six incumbent congressmen seeking re-election.

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6:30 p.m.

The chief elections official in Orleans Parish says turnout has been good and voting operations have been going smoothly.

Arthur Morrell says he hopes "something has shaken the voters and made them realize how important it is to vote."

However, Morrell says his office has encountered one problem. A new charter operator took over a school on Esplanade Avenue that has been a longtime polling place. The new school management decided not to allow voters to use a school yard behind the building to park.

That's made it especially difficult for handicapped voters. He says he's working to get the situation resolved.

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1:05 p.m.

Lots of voters in Louisiana did not get the "I Voted" sticke

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6:30 p.m.

The chief elections official in Orleans Parish says turnout has been good and voting operations have been going smoothly.

Arthur Morrell says he hopes "something has shaken the voters and made them realize how important it is to vote."

However, Morrell says his office has encountered one problem. A new charter operator took over a school on Esplanade Avenue that has been a longtime polling place. The new school management decided not to allow voters to use a school yard behind the building to park.

That's made it especially difficult for handicapped voters. He says he's working to get the situation resolved.

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1:05 p.m.

Lots of voters in Louisiana did not get the "I Voted" stickers on Election Day.

The Advocate reports the secretary of state's office said in a Twitter message that "budgetary constraints" prevented the office from providing the stickers for Tuesday's voting.

Louisiana's 2016 "I Voted" stickers were an internet sensation, as they featured a George Rodrique blue dog and started selling on sites like eBay.

Some votes in Lafayette did receive the more traditional "I Voted" stickers, but many early voters did not.

After complaints showed up on social media, the secretary of state's office said local clerks of court were responsible for providing them. But the Baton Rouge clerk of court's office said the secretary of state's office was supposed to provide them.

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11:35 a.m.

No significant problems have been reported as voters cast their ballots in Louisiana.

The secretary of state's office reported only one polling location was affected because of the severe weather that moved across the state. The report says power was only out for about 15 minutes and the voting machines were not affected because of battery backups.

Polls did not open as scheduled at 6 a.m. Tuesday at a middle school in the town of Iowa in Calcasieu Parish. Clerk of Court Lynn Jones says there was a miscommunication about getting the doors unlocked at J.I. Watson Middle School.

Voters are taking part in a special election for secretary of state. There is also a proposed constitutional amendment to require a unanimous jury for all felony convictions.

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12:45 a.m.

Louisiana has one statewide position on the ballot - a special election to fill a secretary of state seat vacated because of a sexual harassment scandal.

Beyond filling that elections chief job, Louisiana voters Tuesday are deciding whether to return six U.S. House incumbents to Washington for another term and whether to rewrite six provisions in the state constitution.

Among the constitutional amendments are proposals that would require unanimous jury verdicts for all felony convictions in Louisiana and would make convicted felons in Louisiana wait five years after serving their sentences before they can run for office.

The packed primary competition for secretary of state and for Louisiana's other seats has lacked the attention-grabbing nature of state races around the country.

Runoff elections, as needed, will be Dec. 8.

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