Data News Weekly Wants You to Get Out and Vote

Vote Vote Vote!!!

Benjamin Bates

Early Voting has begun and ends on Dec. 1st. Data News Weekly in its role as the People’s Paper encourage our citizens to get out and vote. 
In the November Elections we saw nationwide what voting can do, as where we see more women and minorities elected. While the December Election hasn’t been getting as much coverage, we believe that every election matters and every vote counts.
So as part of our service to our community, we have provided voters information that will empower them at the polls.
Early voting for the Dec. 8 Election begins Saturday Nov. 24 and lasts through Dec. 1. Residents who would like to vote in this election should have registered by Nov.7 if they signed up in person or by mail. For those who registered online the deadline was Nov. 17.
Hours for early voting are 8:30 AM to 6 PM daily and polling locations are closed on Sun. The deadline to request an absentee by mail ballot is 
Dec. 4 by 4:30 p.m. Voters can request an absentee by mail ballot online through the Louisiana Secretary of State Voter Portal or in writing through your Registrar of Voters Office (other than military and overseas voters). The deadline for a registrar of voters to receive a voted mail ballot is Dec. 7 by 4:30 p.m. (other than military and overseas voters).
Elections in Orleans Parish
PW HRC Amendment – Sec. 5-301 – CC
A little known Amendment is on the ballot with far reaching implications; given it has something to do with the future governance of the Sewerage and Water Board.
It reads:
Shall Section 5-301 of the Home Rule Charter of the City of New Orleans be amended to change the composition of the membership of the Sewerage and Water Board to remove one citizen member and include the chair of the Public Works, Sanitation, and Environment Committee of the New Orleans City Council or its successor committee, a member of the committee appointed by the chair, or a civil engineer appointed by the chair?
New Orleans voters are considering a change to the city’s home rule charter that would alter the makeup of the Sewerage & Water Board, slightly undoing a change made in 2013 during the Landrieu Administration.
The reason for this change was to bring more technical expertise to the utility’s governance. To achieve this goal, three seats held City Council members were removed from board, shrinking it from 13 to 11 positions. 
The board leadership is as follows: The mayor, who leads the board as its president, serves in their role and has the power to name eight “citizen” board members with backgrounds applicable to drainage, sewage and water system oversight. The nominations for these posts came from the city’s university presidents.
It is without a doubt that something must be done differently at the Sewerage and Water Board to better service its customers. Prior to the present administration there have been calls for accountability, so we at Data News feel it is incumbent for citizens to educate themselves on this Amendment and how it could impact the future of the Sewerage and Water Board.
Orleans Parish Civil District Court Division E
New Orleans voters also will have the opportunity to decide who will serve as Judge in Division E on the Orleans Parish Civil District Court. 
Omar Mason, is a practicing attorney handling civil litigation for nearly 20 years. He placed 1st in the primary. 
His opponent is Marie Williams, who has over two decades of experience handling criminal and civil cases. 
Both candidates are Democrats who have made previous runs for Judge.
Statewide race
The runoff for secretary of state is between Kyle Ardoin, a Republican, and his opponent Gwen Collins-Greenup, a Democrat.
Ardoin has held the post on an interim basis since May when he was appointed to take over from Tom Schedler, who resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal involving an employee in his office. Although troubles over a voting machines contract have emerged during his brief tenure, Ardoin is touting his experience with the state agency, where he became first assistant in 2010.
Collins-Greenup, who works for the public school system in East Feliciana Parish, made the runoff by matching Ardoin with 20 percent of the vote in the Nov. 6 primary. Collins-Greenup, who graduated from Southern University Law Center and will sit for the bar exam in February, has stressed a platform of voters’ rights in her campaign for the office that oversees elections in Louisiana.
Early voting locations:
• City Hall, 1300 Perdido St., Room 1W24
• Algiers Courthouse, 225 Morgan St., Room 105
• Chef Menteur Voting Machine Warehouse Site, 8870 Chef Menteur Highway 
• Lake Vista Community Center, 6500 Spanish Fort Blvd.

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