LIVINGSTON – Voters in Livingston Parish will an additional site for early voting, tentatively for the May 4 election.
The Livingston Parish Council at its Feb. 7 meeting authorized Parish President Layton Ricks to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with three other entities to establish an early voting site at the Denham Springs-Walker Branch of the Livingston Parish Library, which would start with the May 4 election.
The agreement involved Ricks, Clerk of Court Jason Harris, Registrar of Voters Jared Andrews, Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, and Library Director Giovanni Tairov.
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. The new site will not impact the future of the current site at the Registrar of Voters office, Harris told the Council.
"This will help make it more convenient for voters in the west end of the parish," Andrews said.
Harris and Andrews hope to put the extra location in place for the May 4 ballot, which will include a proposed fee to fund mosquito abatement in Districts 2 & 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.
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 of 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.