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How are Candidates Elected?

Majority Vote 

All candidates in Louisiana are elected by majority vote. A majority vote is more than 50% of the total votes cast for that office. When one candidate is to be elected, a candidate who receives a majority of the votes cast for an office in a primary election is elected. If no candidate receives a majority, the top two candidates who receive the most votes advance to the general election.

If a candidate gets more votes than all of the other candidate votes added together, then the candidate received a majority and is elected.

Example: If Candidate A received 3,617 votes and the number of votes for Candidate B (892), Candidate C (996), and Candidate D (747) = 2,635 then Candidate A has received Majority Vote.

Two Or More To Be Elected  

If there are two (2) or more offices of the same character to be filled, the number of votes necessary to constitute a majority shall be the greater result obtained by:

  • dividing the total votes cast for all of the candidates by the number of offices to be filled; and
  • dividing the result so obtained by two.

The total votes cast divided by the number of offices = result, then the result is divided by 2 = the number of votes needed for majority.

Example: If an election race is "Elect Three" and there were 1,040 total votes cast, the total votes are divided by 3 for the offices to be filled, is 346.6. The resulting 346.6 is then divided by 2 to give the minimum threshold needed to win, is 173.3 rounded up to 174. A candidate needs at least 174 votes to win one of the 3 offices to be filled. If there are more than three candidates that meet the 174 vote threshold, then the three candidates with the most votes will be elected.

If there are remaining offices to be filled due to a lack of a majority in the primary election, the number of candidates who qualify for the general election is twice the number of offices remaining to be filled.

Example: If only one candidate receives the majority vote requirement of 174 in the above example, then the highest four vote getters (twice the number of offices remaining to be filled) advance to the general election.

Any votes received by a withdrawn candidate or a deceased candidate shall be void and not counted for any purpose whatsoever.

If the number of candidates who qualify for an office does not exceed the number of persons to be elected at the close of qualifying, or those remaining after the withdrawal of candidates before the election does not exceed the number of persons to be elected, they are declared elected as unopposed candidates and their name shall not appear on the ballot.

If the number of candidates receiving the highest tie vote exceeds the number of persons to be elected, they all advance to the general election.

General Elections 

Candidates who qualify for each office remaining to be filled in a general election are those who received the two highest votes, four highest votes, etc... until the maximum number of candidates for each office is reached, except in the case of a tie vote.

The candidate who receives the most votes cast for an office in a general election is elected. If two or more offices are to be filled, those candidates receiving the highest total of votes are elected to the number of offices to be filled.

If there is a tie vote among more candidates than offices to be filled, all candidates who received the highest number of tie votes advance to another election to be held at the 3rd Saturday after the promulgation of the election results.

Certification Of Candidates

Elected candidates in a regularly scheduled election are certified by the secretary of state within 30 days of the general election.

Elected candidates in a special election due to a vacancy of an unexpired term are certified by the secretary of state promptly. For more information on oaths of office visit the Commissions Division.