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Why efforts to replace voting machines failed; the impacts of abortion bans; what the polls say about NOLA city leadership

Voters trickle into a downtown Baton Rouge precinct Saturday, Oct. 13, 2023, for the statewide primary election.
Jonathan Peterson
Louisiana Illuminator
Voters trickle into a downtown Baton Rouge precinct Saturday, Oct. 13, 2023, for the statewide primary election.

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time to recap the week in politics with Stephanie Grace, editorial director and columnist for the Times Picayune/The Advocate. She joins us to discuss a new poll showing that New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell continues to have low approval ratings.

Since the Louisiana legislature changed voting laws to appease so-called “election deniers” back in 2021, the state has struggled to replace its long out-of-date voting machines. State Rep. Mike T. Johnson, a Republican from Pineville, attempted this year to mitigate the burdensome requirements passed in 2021. But far-right legislators killed the bill in session.

Wesley Muller, reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator, joined us to discuss how that bill died and what this means for future elections in Louisiana.

Two new studies published at Tulane University investigate the impacts of abortion restrictions and bans. One finds that anti-abortion laws increase rates of violence against women. Another shows people living in the poorest neighborhoods have the greatest difficulties overcoming state bans to travel for abortions.

WWNO/WRKF’s Rosemary Westwood spoke with the studies’ authors, Tulane researchers Maeve Wallace and Syndey Sauter, about the implications of their research.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Bob Pavlovich. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber; our contributing producers are Matt Bloom and Adam Vos; we receive production and technical support from Garrett Pittman and our assistant producer, Aubry Procell.

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:00 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Bob Pavlovich, a long-time fill-in host for New Orleans Public Radio, joined the station full-time in 2023. He hosts "All Things Considered" and "Louisiana Considered" on Thursdays.
Aubry is a reporter, producer and operations assistant in Baton Rouge.