BATON ROUGE — Secretary of State's office is reminding voters that early voting for the Nov. 13 election begins Saturday, Oct. 30, and continues through Saturday, Nov. 6, excluding Sunday, Oct. 31, according to a press release from earlier in the week.
Citizens who want to early vote may do so in person at their parish Registrar of Voters office or at other designated locations.
· 12 parishes will vote in local races and on propositions and Constitutional Amendments (two parishes in Acadiana): Bossier, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lafourche, Morehouse, Orleans, Ouachita, St. Landry, St. Tammany, Vernon, and Washington.
· 7 parishes will vote in local races and on Constitution Amendments (one parish in Acadiana): Ascension, Avoyelles, Caddo, Catahoula, Iberia, Rapides, and Richland.
· 24 parishes will vote on local propositions and Constitutional Amendments (four parishes in Acadiana): Acadia, Allen, Assumption, Beauregard, Bienville, Claiborne, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, Plaquemines, Sabine, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John, St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Union, Vermilion, West Carroll, and West Feliciana.
· 21 parishes will only vote on Constitutional Amendments (one parish in Acadiana): Caldwell, Cameron, Concordia, DeSoto, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Iberville, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, LaSalle, Livingston, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Red River, St. Helena, St. James, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Webster, West Baton Rouge, and Winn.
In Lafayette Parish:
Early voting opens in Lafayette Parish on Oct. 30 and runs through Nov. 6. Early voting polls are closed Sunday, Oct. 31. Voting is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
There are three early voting locations in Lafayette Parish:
- Registrar of Voters, 1010 Lafayette St., Suite 313, Lafayette
- Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Center, 309 Cora St., Lafayette
- East Regional Library, 215 La Neuville Road, Youngsville
In Lafayette Parish, voters will decide on four millage renewals, from The Daily Advertiser:
- Public Library | 1.84 mills (parish-wide) | collects $4.1 million
- Airport | 1.71 mills (parish-wide) | collects $3.8 million
- Drainage District 3.58 mills | (parish-wide) | collects $7.9 million
- Health Unit Rededication: 1.98 mills (parish-wide) for health unit ($4.4 million) and 0.23 mills (parish-wide) for fire protection ($500,000)
City of Lafayette residents will vote on two additional millage renewals:
- Police Dept. Salaries | 3 mills (city of Lafayette only) | collects $4.6 million
- Fire Dept. Salaries | 2 mills (city of Lafayette only) | collects $3.1 million
There are four proposed state amendments voters will make decisions on.
Amendment 1 “Do you support an amendment to authorize the legislature to provide for the streamlined electronic filing, electronic remittance, and the collection of sales and use taxes levied within the state by the State and Local Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Commission and to provide for the funding, duties, and responsibilities of the commission?”
Amendment 2 “Do you support an amendment to lower the maximum allowable rate of individual income tax and to authorize the legislature to provide by law for a deduction for federal income taxes paid?”
According to PAR, "the first two amendments are weighty tax reform proposals."
"Amendment No. 1 takes major steps toward consolidating and streamlining our unusually fragmented state and local sales tax system. Amendment No. 2 proposes a major overhaul of our state income tax rates and deductions. Amendment No. 3 addresses only a handful of local levee districts but could be especially important given recent events. Amendment No. 4 aims to free up dedicated funds during a fiscal shortfall," the document states.
"In full disclosure, readers should be aware that PAR for years has produced research showing the need for the kinds of changes that would be brought by Amendments 1 and 2. PAR was asked to present its findings in legislative committees and testified that the proposed changes align with PAR’s recommendations. However, PAR has striven to provide a thorough review of the issues and to aim for balanced approach with this Guide," the document states.
Amendment 3 “Do you support an amendment to allow levee districts created after January 1, 2006, and before October 9, 2021, whose electors approve the amendment to levy an annual tax not to exceed five mills for the purpose of constructing and maintaining levees, levee drainage, flood protection, and hurricane flood protection?”
Amendment 4 “Do you support an amendment to increase the amount of allowable deficit reductions to statutory dedications and constitutionally protected funds from five percent to ten percent?”
As always, the Public Affairs Research Council, a non-partisan research group, has prepared an analysis of each amendment.
You can read the full document here. It lays out what each amendment proposes, and gives the pro and con arguments that are being made.
Voters are encouraged to utilize Louisiana’s free, award-winning smartphone app, GeauxVote Mobile, to locate parish early voting locations, Election Day voting site, or view their sample ballot.
GeauxBot, the virtual voter assistant, is also available to access pertinent election information such as registration deadlines, election dates, polling locations, and hours.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, polling commissioners will be supplied with personal protective equipment and will regularly sanitize designated areas and wipe down voting machines between each voter. Hand sanitizer will be provided to voters and masks are recommended, although not required.
St. Landry Parish President Jessie Bellard announced on Saturday that masks will no longer be required to enter the Courthouse or any other Parish buildings due to the Governor’s mandate.
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