Our Views: Go to polls and vote _lowres

Advocate staff photo by A.J. SISCO -- U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), right, campaigns with U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA.), a candidate for U.S. Senate at a campaign rally in Metairie, Louisiana, Friday, December 5, 2014.

December is perhaps the busiest month of the year, with holiday shopping and yuletide events conspiring to keep people hopping on weekends.

Even so, we hope that voters take the time today to go to the polls and cast an informed ballot.

Today’s election hasn’t drawn the same level of interest as the Nov. 4 primary, in which voters across the country cast ballots in congressional elections that determined which major party would control the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Decisive GOP wins mean that when the new Congress is sworn in next month, Republicans will control both houses. That’s dampened interest in the outcome of today’s runoff between incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, and her GOP challenger, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy. But Senate elections come around only every six years, and that underscores the need for voters to participate in choosing who will represent Louisiana in this important office.

Other, less high-profile issues are on today’s ballot. Voters in Baton Rouge will decide the fate of a proposed plan to reorganize the Department of Public Works. In New Orleans, a tax proposal for public schools is on the ballot, and in Jefferson and Livingston parishes, voters will consider several proposed changes to the parish charters. Numerous other issues are on the ballot in parishes across south Louisiana, including school board races.

Polls are open today between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. The Advocate’s editorial positions on various issues on today’s ballot are available at theadvocate.com, and on today’s Commentary page. In a season of gifts, the gift of democracy is one we shouldn’t overlook. If you haven’t voted, make time to do it today.