From: Charles Bierbauer/CNN
Subject: Louisiana Must Change Open Primary Elections
The Supreme Court says the state of Louisiana must conform with election laws in the rest of the country to see that congressional seats are uniformly decided on the same election day, the first Tuesday in November.
In a unanimous opinion, the court ruled Louisiana's open primary which often leads to the "election" of a candidate in October "runs afoul of the federal statute."
In 1975 Louisiana adopted its "open primary" in which all candidates, regardless of party, appear on the same ballot. If any receives a majority of votes in the primary, that candidate is elected. If there is no majority, the two leading vote-getters face a runoff on the November election day.
The court opinion says the Louisiana plan "can influence later voting in other states" and burdens "citizens forced to turn out on two different election days to make final selections of federal officers."
The case Foster v. Love, 96-670 was argued in October.
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Tuesday Dec. 2, 1997
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