Coronavirus causes changes in polling locations

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By Juanice Gray, jgray@natchitochestimes.com

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), senior citizens are at higher risk of complications from Covid-19. That fact is well known, but what wasn’t anticipated is the effect this fact would have on the election process. Some polling places in Natchitoches Parish are located in facilities for the elderly, including the Council on Aging office (Ward 1, Precinct 2).

David Stamey
CS&M Storage

Clerk of Court David Stamey said Wednesday, “The Masonic Lodge on Masonic Drive is scheduled for at least the July election and for the possible run off.” The Creston precinct was also changed to the former Creston Baptist Church location.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin sent a letter dated May 5, to the Parish Council and Stamey outlining the polling place changes. In the letter, Ardoin said the state’s emergency election plan requires moving all polling locations from senior citizen centers and nursing homes.

Other locations such as Council on Aging offices, residential facilities, private homes or other private facilities may be relocated, depending on the facility. In addition, Stamey announced Wednesday the Clerk’s office will begin operating from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. starting Monday, May 18.

“We will continue doing passports, birth certificates and marriage licenses daily from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.” he said.