Parish Clerk of Court
Elections are held in our great parish throughout the year. Some are local and some are parish wide. In either case, this office works with the registrar of voters office and the Louisiana Department of Elections to bring to you a fair and honest system of voting. Being the first in the state, we pride ourselves on bringing to the people of Acadia Parish the right to vote electronically. This is a tamper proof system to which you can have peace of mind knowing that all votes tabulated are such that are true and without corruption. Because of the technology of today, we are able to process results from an election in a matter of a couple of hours after closing of the polls.
With the advanced technology of today, Acadia Parish is the only parish to bring live election results into the homes of the public. We use two methods. One is with a joint venture between COX Communications and the other is through the internet. If you have COX Communications, simply tune in to Channel 16 between 8:00 p.m. and midnight and watch the results as we get them. If you have internet capability, simply use this website and click on the Election button and live results and go from there. We hope that you enjoy!
The Elections Department qualifies candidates for office in any local election while the Secretary of State in Baton Rouge qualifies candidates on a state level.
This department is responsible for conducting all training schools for Commissioners and Commissioner's-in-Charge, sending all notices to the election Commissioners, Commissioner's-in-Charge, voting machine key custodians and, building custodians where the precincts are located. These notices inform everybody associated with an election of the election date, hours, voting machine delivery and pickup and other vital information concerning the election. The department also deals with any problems that may arise on election day. When the polls close and during the next few days after an election, the department is busy processing all the information from election day. This includes processing payroll for commissioners, disbursing results to the media, confirming results with the Department of Elections, and unsealing of machines and verifying the public counters on each machine.
The Parish Board of Election Supervisors, of which the Clerk of Court chairs, meets before, during and, after an election. Before an election, the board selects, at random, qualified Commissioners to staff each precinct. During an election, the Board convenes to count absentee ballots and after an election, the Board meets once again to officially certify the election results before they are sent to the Secretary of State's Office.
For more information, you may contact our office at (337)788-8881.
Election Day is a busy day for the Clerk of Court's Office. We begin at 5:00 a.m. handling phone calls that come in pertaining to questions and concerns at official polls. All phone calls are recorded and turned into the Department of Elections for review.
Throughout the day, all precincts are visited by our Election Department's Staff. They handle any issues or concerns of commissioners as well as the collection of time sheets.
The Election Department is open all day to handle any situation that needs to be addressed with concerns to that particular election. When the polls close at 8:00 p.m., calls are still monitored and we prepare for incoming election results.
Electronic cartridges and appropriate supplies are delivered to the Courthouse by the Commissioner-in-charge of each precinct. These cartridges are then processed by an electronic reader that inputs the tabulated votes directly into an election program that processes the final tabulation and results. Results are printed and sent to the media. At the same time that the information is being processed by our election program, the same information is being sent electronically to the Department of Elections in Baton Rouge. No human interaction can tamper with the vote tabulation, therefore, election results are precise and without error.
We are proud of the electronic voting system and are looking forward to extending special services concerning elections to you. We are in the process of working with the local cable company to bring the results as we get them to you in your own home for your viewing pleasure. This is very exciting, and is just one of many things that we are working on bringing you, that being the latest in information technology.
Watchers at polls are allowed, however here are some guidelines.
Qualifications. A qualified voter who is not entitled to assistance in voting and is not a candidate in the election may serve as a watcher; provided that a watcher who is not a resident of the parish where he serves, may not serve as a commissioner.
Powers and duties. A watcher shall be admitted within all parts of the polling place during the election and the counting and tabulation of votes, and shall call any infraction of the law to the attention of the commissioners. A watcher may keep notes on the conduct of the election, but he shall not take part in the counting and tabulation of votes. A watcher shall not electioneer, engage in political discussions, or unnecessarily delay a voter at the polling place. A watcher shall be subject the the authority of the commissioners and shall not interfere with the commissioners in the performance of their duties.
Number of watchers inside a polling place. If the number of watchers inside a polling place is so great as to interfere with the orderly conduct of the election, the commissioners shall regulate the number of watchers inside the polling place for each precinct so that the election may be conducted in an orderly manner. The watchers shall draw lots under the supervision of the commissioners to determine which watchers shall be the first to wait outside the polling place, but the amount of time each watcher spends inside the polling place shall, as nearly as practicable, be equal.
Each candidate is entitled to have one watcher at every precinct where the office he seeks is voted on in a primary or general election. However, in the case of a presidential election, each slate of candidates for presidential elector is entitled to have one watcher at every precinct.
Any person who is supporting or opposing a proposition or question to be submitted to the voters or supporting or opposing the recall of a public officer and who has filed a report required by R.S. 18:1486 (Louisiana Revised Statutes Election Code) for such election is entitled to have one watcher at every precinct where the issue he seeks to influence is voted on in an election. For the purposes of this Subsection, "person" means any individual, partnership, association, labor union, political committee, corporation, or other legal entity, including subsidiaries.
The commissioners shall regulate the number of watchers inside the polling place as provided in R.S. 18:427 (Louisiana Revised Statutes Election Code).
Lists of watchers. A lists of watchers shall be filed with the Parish Board of Elections Supervisors before 5:00 p.m. on the tenth day before the primary or general election. Except for a candidate, any person filing a list of watchers must attach a certified statement that the report required by R.S. 18:1486 (Louisiana Revised Statutes Election Code) has been filed with the supervisory committee in compliance with the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act. If any candidate submits a list for the primary election and does not submit a list for the general election, the list submitted in the primary election shall be treated as his list submitted for the general election. A list of watchers shall contain only one watcher and one alternate watcher for each precinct where the candidate or person submitting the list is entitled to have a watcher. The list shall be typed or legibly written, and it shall contain the name and mailing address of each watcher and a designation of the precinct where he is to serve.
The Parish Board of Election Supervisors shall promptly issue a commission to each watcher named on a timely filed list of watchers. A person shall not be commissioned as a watcher if he has been appointed as a Commissioner-in-Charge or selected as a commissioner in the same election. A person selected as an alternate commissioner may be commissioned as a watcher. However, if the alternate commissioner must replace an absent or unqualified commissioner, he shall not serve as a watcher in the same election and his commission as a watcher shall be deemed void. Prior to the opening of the polls on election day, the Parish Board of Election Supervisors shall deliver to each precinct a list of watchers and alternate watchers who are entitled to serve at the election. The list shall specify the precinct for which each watcher is eligible to serve. A watcher must present his commission to the Commissioner-in-Charge of the precinct for which each watcher is eligible to serve prior to serving at the polling place.
A candidate, or person as defined above, shall be entitled to have both a watcher and an alternate watcher serve at the same precinct on election day. However, the watcher and alternate watcher may not serve at the same time.
For more information, you can call the Registrar of Voters Office at (337)787-8841 or our office at (337)788-8881.