Preparing for the polls

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - There's just one day left before voters head to the polls, and experts are urging people to use that day to prepare.

All Louisiana voters will have the option to approve changes to the state's constitution.

"The reason there is a problem or the reason that there is an issue is because the constitution has language specifying certain things, so they want to correct that constitutional language," says Joshua Stockley, a political analyst from ULM.

The first amendment would block convicted felons from running for public office for five years after being released.

The second would require a unanimous jury vote for all felony convictions.

And the third would allow donations from political subdivisions without an equal form of payment (political subdivisions are groups like the police jury and school board.)

"The idea is a political subdivision just can't give things away to another subdivision under current law. So if I give you a bulldozer, something equitable has to occur under current law," Stockley explains.

The fourth amendment would prohibit state police from using money in the transportation trust fund for traffic control purposes, and all the money will go to transportation infrastructure.

The fifth amendment would allow special tax treatment for properties held in trust.

The sixth would give property owners a phase-in period for property taxes when the value increases by more than 50 percent.

Stockley says, "Should you still be liable for that whole full tax bill or should there be a phase in? A period of time to where you can catch up to what your new whole property bill is."

Stockley says learning about these amendments is the key to making sure your vote represents what you believe.

"You don’t want to vote yes and then find out you've done the opposite of what you believe. And you don't want to vote no if you find out the opposite. And you certainly don’t want to select a candidate who actually does not, in turn, represent your ideals."

Stockley recommends bringing a “cheat sheet” into the booth with you to make sure you can complete your ballot appropriately in the three minute time period.

You can print off a sample ballot based on where you live at the Secretary of State website .

For more information on each amendment, you can also get a non-partisan breakdown from the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana.