Some voters were in wrong city districts

Published 4:18 am Saturday, October 6, 2018

Randy Strickland, the Washington Parish Registrar of Voters, spoke to the Bogalusa City Council on Thursday night to detail some recent changes to voter districts.

Strickland said that several Bogalusa citizens were recently notified by mail that their residences had been placed in an incorrect city district. The mailings came from the Louisiana Secretary of State and were the size of a postcard, Strickland said.

Only voters whose districts were affected and changed received the postcards.

“I want to assure everybody, no lines have been changed,” Strickland said. “There’s no re-districting, so to speak, of any type of lines. There’s some corrections that were made.”

Strickland gave an example of one type of error that occurred. For example, he said that in an average American city, a driver might be travelling south on Second Avenue, and after crossing the Third Street intersection then every house on Second Avenue would have an address that starts with the number three (301, 302, etc.). Then, after continuing south on Second Avenue and crossing onto Fourth Street, those address numbers would change to 401 and similar.

He noted that numbering pattern is similar for most American cities. However, Bogalusa has some differences.

“It came to our attention,” he said. “… when you cross (Bogalusa’s) Third Street, you’re in the 400 series of numbers. You cross Third, it doesn’t start at 301 … it starts at 400 and then goes to 499. Then when you get to Fourth Street, it jumps to 500 …”

As a result, it was discovered that some houses were not placed in the proper districts. He said most of the errors were in District B and C, with a few others in District A.

“Around Byrd Avenue, we cut it a block short on one series,” Strickland said. “Let’s say it went to the 1000 block, and we stopped at the 900 block. Or it went to the 11, and we went to the 10. So, we made those adjustments.”

Strickland said that he would ask the Secretary of State to re-send the notification cards to those voters affected, and it would take about two weeks for the cards to arrive through the mail.

He also said that he would be happy to meet with any city council candidate who has concerns about the correct location of his or her district.

“You don’t have to come to Franklinton, I’ll come over here,” he said.

Strickland noted that the deadline to register to vote on paper forms is Tuesday, Oct. 9. Online voter registration is open until Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Early voting will be Tuesday, Oct. 23, through Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. at Northshore Technical Community College, on every day except Sunday, Oct. 28. Bring a photo ID — either a driver’s license or state-issued ID.