Early voting begins Tuesday

Allison Cryer
Sunday, October 21, 2018

Voters in Jeff Davis Parish will have the chance to cast their votes ahead of time for the Congressional Election Nov. 6 with early voting slated to start Tuesday.

Jeff Davis Registrar of Voters (ROV) Joann Blair said voters have the option to vote early in the ROV office or later vote at a polling location the day of the election. Voters over the age of 65, college students, temporarily absent or offshore voters can submit votes by mail.

According to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office (SOS), early voting will be held at the ROV in Jennings, located at 302 N. Cutting Avenue, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 23-30 with the exception of Sundays.

Sample ballots are now available for review for the Nov. 6 election at the ROV office in Jennings, or by using the GeauxVote app. The ballot includes six constitutional amendments that will need the public’s stamp of approval, according to SOS, as well as several statewide and parish wide ballot measures. Additionally, each of Louisiana’s 64 parishes will vote on a measure to authorize fantasy sports contests in the parish.

The first proposal would prohibit convicted felons, unless pardoned, from seeking or holding a public office until five years after the completion of their sentences. Due to a court ruling in 2016, convicted felons can seek and hold a public office in Louisiana. Constitutional Amendment (CA) No. 1 would prohibit convicted felons, unless pardoned, from seeking or holding a public office until five years after the completion of their sentences.

CA No. 1 would not prohibit a felon from being employed by the state or a local government.

If passed, the second proposal would require the unanimous agreement of jurors, rather than just 10 of 12 jurors, to convict people charged with felonies. As of 2018, Louisiana requires the agreement of 10 of 12, or 83 percent, jurors to convict people charged with felonies. CA No. 2 would not affect juries for offenses that were committed before Jan. 1, 2019.

The third proposition would permit donations from political subdivisions. As of 2018, political subdivisions are prohibited from loaning or exchanging equipment and personnel. CA No. 3, would allow political subdivisions of the state, through a written agreement, to exchange public equipment and personnel for an action or function that the receiving subdivision is authorized to exercise.

CA No. 4 would end the dedication of revenue from the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) to state police for traffic control. The TTF was designed to hold revenue from all state taxes on gasoline and motor fuels. The measure was created to prohibit future state governors from using trust fund revenue to fill gaps in the state police budget.

The fifth proposal deals with property tax exemptions for certain citizens. CA No. 5 would allow special assessments on a home in trust for a resident who is the settlor of the trust and is a disabled veteran. The special assessments would also apply to the surviving spouse of a person who died while performing their duties as a first responder, active duty member of the military, law enforcement officer or fire protection officer.

The sixth and final proposal would require that tax increases from reappraisals, or estimates of a property’s market value, resulting in a property’s value increasing more than 50 percent would be phased in over the course of four years. The proposal also states that taxing authorities, such as local governments and school districts, would not be allowed to adjust the tax rate to make up for lost revenue from the phased-in requirement.

In addition to statewide amendments, voters in each parish will also get the chance to decide if they want to allow fantasy sports contests to be legalized and subject to taxation and regulation in the parish. HB 484 defines fantasy sports contests as simulation games played through internet or mobile devices in which participants create teams based on the current rosters of real-life sporting events in order to win prizes and awards. The bill was designed to prevent the authorization of fantasy sports contests from allowing a way to bet on real-world sporting events.

All statewide Louisiana ballot measures are legislatively referred constitutional amendments that if approved by the voters, become part of the Louisiana State Constitution. Louisiana is one of the 16 states that require a two-thirds supermajority vote in one session to place a proposed amendment on the ballot.

Parish voters will cast ballots for the following offices:

Member of School Board District 7

• James “Jimmy” Segura (Incumbent)

• Timothy Guinn

Member of School Board District 13

• Terry Leger

• “Greg” Pousson

Mayor, Town of Elton

• Roger D. “Tony” Laughlin (Incumbent)

• “Cathy” Hollingsworth

• “Mike” Pierrotti

Council Members, Town of Elton (5 to be elected)

• Avella Ackless (Incumbent)

• Shirley Lafleur Johnson (Incumbent)

• Michael Bellon (Incumbent)

* Marilyn Broussard Granger

• Kesia Lemoine (Incumbent)

• “Tony” Guillory (Incumbent)

• Brandilyn Soileau

Council Members, Lake Arthur (5 to be elected)

• Amos “Ace” Beverly

• David Hanks (Incumbent)

• Sampson “Poncho” Lejeune (Incumbent)

• Auldon Robinson (Incumbent)

• Kirk Conner

• “Bobby” Palermo (Incumbent)

• Ricky Monceaux (Incumbent)

Jeff Davis voters will also see the following statewide races on the Nov. 6 ballot:

Secretary of State

• Kyle Ardoin-R (Incumbent)

• Heather Cloud-R

• “Gwen” Collins-Greeup-D

• A.G. Crow-R

• “Rick” Edmonds-R

• Renee Fontenot Free-D

• Thomas J. Kennedy III-R

• Matthew Paul “Matt” Moreau-NP

• Julia Stokes-R

Third District U.S. Representative

• “Rob” Anderson-D

• Aaron J. Andrus-L

• “Josh” Guillory-R

• Clay Higgins-R (Incumbent)

• Mildred “Mimi” Methvin-D

• Larry Rader-D

• Verone Thomas-D