Louisiana judicial elections

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Judges in Louisiana participate in partisan elections. Elections in the state are held multiple times throughout both odd and even-numbered years.

Primary election

Judges compete in a primary election against candidates of all parties. If no candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote (a "majority vote"), the top two candidates run against each other in the general election. If a candidate does receive a majority vote in the primary, he or she is declared elected as an unopposed candidate and will not be listed on the general election ballot.[1]

Louisiana's primary elections are held in November, during the general elections of other states.

For two or more open seats

In the event that candidates are competing for more than one open seat on a court, the majority vote is decided 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," according to the Secretary of State website. The SOS goes on to give the following example:

1040 total votes cast ÷ 3 offices to be filled = 346.6
346.6 ÷ 2 = 173.3

In the above example, 174 votes are necessary to win for each of the 3 offices.[1]

General election

A general election is won by obtaining the highest number of votes. In the case of races with two or more open seats, the two or more candidates with the highest votes are declared the winners. If there is a tie, an additional election will be scheduled for the third Saturday after the announcement of the election results.[1]

The judges are elected to the following terms, respectively, after which they must seek re-election if they wish to retain the seat:

Supreme Court Court of Appeals District Court Family Courts Juvenile Courts Justice of the Peace Courts
Partisan election Partisan election Partisan election Partisan election Partisan election Partisan election
10 year term 10 year term Six-year term Six-year term Six-year term (8 in Orleans Parish) Four-year term


Results for all races, judicial and nonjudicial alike, are posted on the Louisiana Secretary of State's Geaux Vote website. Users can access state elections results dating back to 1982.[2]

Becoming a candidate

Qualifying Fee State Central Committee Fee Signatures
Supreme Court $450 $225 1000
Court of Appeal $450 $225 1000
District Court (District) $300 $150 500
District Court (Subdistrict) $300 $150 ½ of 1% of registered voters as of 30 days before end of qualifying
Family Court (Baton Rouge), Juvenile Court (Caddo, East Baton Rouge) $225 $112.50 ½ of 1% of registered voters as of 30 days before end of qualifying
Juvenile Court (Jefferson), Parish Court $225 $112.50 400
City Court $75 $37.50 100
Municipal Court (Except Orleans) varies* varies* varies*
Municipal Court (Orleans) $375 $187.50 1000
*The fees and signature requirements for municipal courts vary with population, increasing with the size of the region. For a complete breakdown of municipal court fees and signature requirements, visit the qualifications outlined on the Louisiana Secretary of State website.


To qualify for an election, a candidate must meet the individual requirements for the office he or she seeks.[3] To view these specific requirements—which pertain to law experience, length of residency and age—visit Judgepedia's Louisiana judicial selection page.

Declaration of candidacy

Candidates must submit a notice of candidacy form to the Louisiana Secretary of State's Office. On this form, the candidate indicates that he or she:

  • is a registered voter;
  • is not currently under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony;
  • has filed federal and state income tax returns each of the last five years, or filed an extension (or was not required to do so);
  • agrees to the state's campaign finance requirements;
  • does not owe any outstanding fines, fees or penalties pursuant to the Code of Governmental Ethics; and
  • is knowledgeable of governmental ethics offenses.[4]

Fees and nominating petitions

Candidates are required to either pay a fee (varying by judgeship, as seen in the table at right) or file a nominating petition with a required number of signatures. An additional State Central Committee fee is collected from each Republican and Democratic candidate.[5]



See also

External links