LIVINGSTON – Residents of Livingston Parish will have an additional site to cast their ballot in the early voting period.
A memorandum of understanding between parish officials and Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin will begin the process to designate the Denham Springs-Walker Branch of the Livingston Parish Library as a satellite polling area for early voting.
Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks, Clerk of Court Jason Harris, Registrar of Voters Jared Andrews, and Library Director Giovanni Tairov will sign the agreement at the Feb. 7 meeting of the Livingston Parish Council.
The meeting will mark the first with a new starting time of 6:30 p.m.
Harris and former Clerk of Court Tom Sullivan implemented the plan to provide a closer site for residents on the west end of the parish.
Harris and Andrews hope to put the extra location in place for the May 4th ballot, which will include a proposed fee to fund mosquito abatement in Districts 2 and 3, which covers the Watson area and an unincorporated area on the outskirts of Denham Springs.
In the area east of Albany, voters in Livingston Parish Fire Protection District 11 will decide on renewal of a 10-mill property tax.
“This will prepare us for the primary election in the fall,” Andrews said.
Harris and Sullivan modeled the plan off a move by the Ascension Parish Clerk of Court’s Office, which has created a satellite voting site at the Oak Grove Community Center in Prairieville.
The strong turnout for early voting in the last three elections spurred the plan for the satellite location, along with the success of the polling site at Juban Crossing during the months after the August 2016 flood.
For the setup, the Livingston Parish Council will pay a one-time startup fee of $8,000 and then a $500 monthly fee for a dedicated AT&T line, Harris said. Thereafter, the annual charge to the parish will be $6,000, regardless how many elections are held in a calendar year, Harris said.
Harris will loan out employees from his office to help work the satellite location. The Registrar of Voters office staffs only four employees.