Testing for the novel coronavirus has continued to increase across the nation, and especially in Louisiana.
Combined with more community spread, it's affecting more and more families and businesses - and the Livingston Parish Library is not immune.
According to the library's Facebook page, an employee received a positive test for COVID-19 Tuesday and the Denham Springs-Walker branch would be closed for cleaning, until further notice. The library asked patrons to watch their social media channels for forthcoming announcements.
Residents were immediately curious if early voting would continue through this Saturday, July 4, it's intended ending date.
"Please note: Early Voting is still taking place in an isolated area (of the satellite location)," Registrar of Voters Jared Andrews said in response to the Facebook post.
Voters will continue to enter from the rear of the building and proceed to the voting locations. Only a certain number of voters will be allowed at any time inside the building.
In April, Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin and Governor John Bel Edwards agreed to move the spring elections in the wake of COVID-19. Ardoin's first plan was shot down, due to a heavy reliance on mail-in voting, but his second plan was eventually accepted by the legislature and sent to the governor for signature.
The plan, which was approved by the full state Senate and House of Representatives, would expand early voting from seven days to 13, relocate polling locations from senior centers, and add new reasons to request an absentee ballot. It would apply to elections scheduled for July and August but not the federal election in November.
The stated goals are protecting public health while maintaining election integrity and keeping the state out of court. The plan does not go as far as some advocates would like in expanding voting by mail.
The early voting periods included in the plan began this Saturday, June 20 at 8:30 a.m. Registered voters can visit both the Denham Springs and Walker Branch library, which is a satellite early voting location, and the Registrar of Voters office in Livingston. Readers can find the address of each location below, and they will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, for two weeks.
Neither location will be open Sundays.
- Denham Springs - Walker branch library - 8101 E U.S. Hwy 190, Denham Springs, LA 70726
- Registrar of Voter's office - 29938 S. Magnolia St., Livingston, LA 70754
The regular election will be held July 11th.
Members of the registrar's office and Clerk of Court's office will be outfitted in masks, face shields, and personal protective equipment every day the polls are open. They ask that individuals wear masks when they come to the polls, but it is not required.
Social distancing will be enforced.
The primary election has many elections that are "party only" for this round, with but two ballot items in Livingston Parish that are not based on political affiliation.