Election duties in Louisiana are shared by a myriad of officials and agencies: the Louisiana Legislature, the Louisiana Secretary of State (the state's chief elections officer), the Louisiana Board of Election Supervisors, the parishes' Boards of Election Supervisors, the parishes' clerks of court (the parishes' chief elections officers), the registrars of voters, the parishes' governing authorities, and the registered voters.
Elections are held in accordance with laws enacted by the Louisiana Legislature, which establishes fees and rules for candidate qualifications; events in the election calendar; and provides for the funding of the elections process, maintenance and replacement of voting machines, etc.
The Louisiana Secretary of State receives Notices of Candidacy for federal, statewide, and certain multi-parish candidates; promulgates election results; contracts with the drayage (companies hired to deliver and retrieve election day voting machines to and from precinct locations); prepares the voting machines for election day; pays poll commissioners, commissioners-in-charge, and other individuals with state funds; maintains and provides (to clerks of court and registrars of voters) computer hardware and software for election activities; prepares ballots; provides training materials (to clerks of court) for poll commissioners; and is responsible for the purchase and maintenance of voting machines and the storage thereof in warehouses maintained by the state.
The Clerks of Court serve as the parish's chief elections officer, responsible for the training of poll commissioners and commissioners-in-charge; receiving Notices of Candidacy for local elections; inspecting the voting machines to ensure they have been properly prepared by the Louisiana Secretary of State's voting machine warehouse personnel; serving on the parish board of election supervisors; tabulating vote totals; overseeing the opening and inspection of the voting machines following election day; and providing to the secretary of state the names of individuals who performed election duties (poll commissioners, commissioners-in-charge, polling place custodians, etc.) to be paid by the state.
The Registrar of Voters, who is appointed by the parishes' governing authority (Plaquemines Parish Council) generally for a lifetime appointment, is responsible for the maintenance and storage of voting machines used for early voting. The registrar, who tends to be non-partisan and detached from politics, plays an important independent role to maintain the voter rolls with integrity. The official, while appointed by local government and serves at the direction of the secretary of state, provides an important check-and-balance role to stakeholders in the political process who may hold and express partisan positions. Properly administered voting registration is crucial to ensuring the public's confidence in the protection of the right to vote. In the ordinary course of business, the registrar maintains the voting rolls by registering new voters, processing applications for change of party or residence by current voters, and removing deceased individuals. If you need information regarding voter registration or the early voting process, please contact the Plaquemines Parish Registrar of Voters at (504) 934-3620. You may also register online with the Louisiana Secretary of State here: https://voterportal.sos.la.gov/VoterRegistration
Plaquemines Parish's Board of Election Supervisors, a five-person body that includes the clerk of court, registrar of voters, representatives of the Democratic and Republican parties, and an appointee of the Louisiana Governor meets before and after an election to perform essential oversight of the election process. Before an election, the board selects, at random, qualified commissioners to staff each precinct and convenes to seal the voting machines. On election day, the body counts absentee and early ballots and, after the election, meets again to certify the election results before they are sent to the secretary of state’s office. The board also meets once each year to select commissioners-in-charge for each precinct in the parish. When a candidate requests a recount, the board convenes to recount the paper ballots (military, mail-in, faxed/e-mailed).
Precinct locations in Plaquemines Parish are established by the Plaquemines Parish Council. The Council is responsible for ensuring that a location provides adequate lighting, space, and handicapped accommodations, and can accommodate the precinct's voters. The Louisiana Legislature establishes laws governing the size of a precinct, and the Registrar of Voters reports annually to the Council regarding the sizes of the parishes' precincts. The body also appoints the Registrar of Voters when there is a vacancy.
After all of these officials have performed their duties, the election is handed over to the registered voters who serve as commissioners-in-charge and commissioners. On election day, they are at the forefront of this intricate system, ensuring a transparent elections process with unquestioned integrity. The Clerk of Court encourages all citizens of Plaquemines Parish to get involved to ensure elections are run effectively and with efficiency.