Voter Registration Week kicks off election process for Nov. 4 primary

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The right to vote is the most sacred right we as Americans possess. Without it, we have no voice to choose our leaders, our form of government or to make other vital decisions that we enjoy in a democratic society.

Voter Registration Week is held annually and the Registrar’s Office spearheads registration drives at the local high schools during this week. This year, Voter Registration Week is Sept. 24-28.

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Although registration drives are targeted for this week by the Registrar’s Office, voter drives by organizations and individuals are held throughout the year at public events as well as at Northwestern State University. The Registrar’s Office provides information, registration forms and other pertinent information for individuals or groups sponsoring these drives. Applications to register to vote in Louisiana can be submitted by current residents at the age of 17, however, the registration will not be processed and valid until the registrant’s 18th birthday.

Registrants who turn 18 on the day of any election will then be eligible for that election. Applicants who are applying for a Louisiana driver’s license at 16 are allowed to register to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and likewise, the registration will not be processed until the registrant reaches 18. All Louisiana residents can register to vote or make changes to their voter registration at the DMV while renewing their driver’s license. New voters registering by mail who do not provide identification must vote in person the first time, unless they are a student at an institution for higher learning located outside of the registrant’s parish of residence.

Upon presentation of a copy of their student identification or fee bill showing current enrollment, along with an Application to Vote by Mail, the voter will be added to the list to receive their ballot by mail.

For the Nov. 6 election, the deadline for in person and by mail registration is Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 4:30 p.m. and online registration is Saturday, Oct. 16 at 11:59 p.m.

Early voting will be in the Registrar of Voters Office from Tuesday, Oct.23to Saturday, Oct. 27 and Monday, Oct. 29 through Tuesday, Oct. 30, 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Absentee voting by mail is available for voters who will be out of parish on Election Day and the week of Early Voting, or if a person is over 65, or has a mobility impaired ID card (must provide a copy). The last day to make a written request for an absentee ballot is Friday, Nov. 2, at 4:30 p.m. For more information on voter registration or the upcoming election, contact the Registrar of Voters Office at (318) 357-2211.

Registrar of Voters Debbie Waskom provided election information for the Nov. 6 primary. Polling places will be open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Items include: Statewide: Secretary of State US Representative 4th Congressional District Proposition to authorize Fantasy Sports contests

Local: School Board member in districts 1-4, 6-9 and 11.

Village of Ashland: Mayor Town of Campti: Mayor, Councilmen Village of Clarence: Aldermen Village of Goldonna: Mayor, Chief of Police, Aldermen Village of Provencal: Mayor, Chief of Police Village of Robeline: Mayor, Aldermen Fire Protection Dist. 3 renewal (9.52 mill property tax-10 years-beginning 2019 and ending 2028)

Four candidates have withdrawn from their respective races. Withdrawals include Thomas “Tommy Melder” incumbent for Dist. 6 School Board; James R. Walker, Robeline Mayor; Randall Bockstanz, incumbent for Robeline Alderman; and Rickey Armstead, Campti Police Chief. With Armstead’s withdrawal, incumbent Gregory Eldridge will be unopposed to retain his position. All other races still have more than one candidate. Last day to register to vote and/or make changes is Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 4:30 p.m.

in person and by mail and Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 11:59 p.m. online. Early voting will be Tuesday, Oct. 23-Saturday, Oct. 27 and Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 29-30 from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. each day.

Absentee voting by mail is intended for voters who will be out of parish on election day and the week of early voting or if a person is over 65 or has a mobility impaired ID card. Fax requests to318-357-2212 or mail to Registrar of Voters, POB 677, Natchitoches, La 71458. Last day to make a written request for an absentee ballot by mail is Friday, Nov. 2 at 4:30 p.m. Written request form can be downloaded at www.sos.la.gov under “Elections.” Click on the “VOTE” link, then “Vote by mail” then on “Application to vote by mail.”

Mail and hand delivered ballots must be returned to the Registrar’s Office by 4:30 p.m. the day before the election. Military and overseas ballots must be returned to the Registrar’s office before noon election day.