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Primary election set for July 11: Judge race, tax question also on city voters’ ballots

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin is reminding everyone that Saturday, July 11, is Election Day.

Only registered Democrats and Republicans will be eligible to vote in the July 11 Presidential Preference Primary, while voters in 24 parishes, regardless of party, may have a local election on their ballot. Those 24 parishes include Washington, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Bienville, Caddo, Calcasieu, Concordia, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Natchitoches, Orleans, Ouachita, Rapides, Richland, Sabine, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin and West Feliciana.

In preparation for Saturday’s election, Ardoin encourages voters to remember:

  • Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Anyone in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
  • Voters can find their polling location and sample ballot by downloading the GeauxVote Mobile app for smartphones or by visiting www.GeauxVote.com.
  • Voters can sign up for text alerts via GeauxVote Mobile.
  • Voters should bring an ID with them to vote (Louisiana driver’s license, Louisiana Special ID card, a generally recognized picture identification card with name and signature such as a passport or a digital license via LA Wallet). Voters without an ID will be required to fill out an affidavit but will be allowed to vote.
  • Election results can be viewed in real-time via GeauxVote Mobile or at www.sos.la.gov.

In Washington Parish, all voters will be asked to participate in the special election for Judge, Court of Appeal, 1st Circuit, 3rd District, Division D. The two candidates are both Republican Party members. They are Richard A. “Rick” Swartz and Elizabeth “Beth” Wolfe.

Also, in Bogalusa, voters will be asked to decide on a proposition to rededicate a portion of the city’s sales tax toward pensions. The exact language is as follows:

“Shall the City of Bogalusa, State of Louisiana (the “City”), pursuant to Article VI, Sections 29 and 30 of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974 and other constitutional and statutory authority, be authorized to rededicate the unexpended and future new revenues of the City’s existing one-quarter of one percent (1/4%) sales and use tax, originally approved at an election held on November 17, 2007 (the “Tax”) as follows: (i) all unexpended net revenues of the Tax previously collected to provide support to the City’s industrial park, as well as all future net revenues of the Tax, shall be rededicated and used to pay retirement benefits and costs related to pensions, including but not limited to payments owed to the City of Bogalusa Employees Retirement System (COBERS) for employer contributions for active employees of the City and payments toward the unfunded accrued liability as determined by the actuary for COBERS, provided that (ii) any future net revenues of the Tax exceeding the City’s obligations to COBERS for a fiscal year as described in (i) above may be budgeted and used for operation and maintenance of the City’s industrial park (annual revenues of the 1/4% sales tax are approximately $545,000)?”

Voters will be asked to choose “yes” or “no” to the ballot question.

Due to COVID-19, some polling places located at nursing homes, senior centers, or other senior-related locations have been moved in accordance with the Secretary of State’s Emergency Election Plan. Parish registrars of voters have also notified affected voters by mail with their polling relocations.

Parishes with polling location changes include Washington, St. Tammany, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Catahoula, Jefferson, Madison, Natchitoches, Orleans, Ouachita, St. James and St. Mary.

Additional precautions are being taken in light of COVID-19, and polling commissioners will be supplied with personal protective equipment and will regularly sanitize designated areas and wipe down voting machines. Hand sanitizer will be provided to voters and masks are recommended, although not required.

For more information, contact the state’s Elections Division at 1-800-883-2805 or elections@sos.la.gov.