Early voting begins today

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 13, 2010



LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish residents can begin casting ballots today to decide on a new parish president and whether to renew a 1-mill property tax for the juvenile justice system.

Starting today, the registrar of voters’ offices on both sides of the Mississippi River will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for early voting in the March 27 special election. The office will be open every day except Sunday. Early voting ends March 20.

Five candidates have qualified for the race to replace former Parish President Bill Hubbard, who resigned Sept. 24 before pleading guilty to federal bribery charges. The candidates include Edgard businessman Perry Bailey, St. John acting Chief Administrative Officer Buddy Boe, St. John School Board President Gerald Keller, former St. John Chief Administrative Officer Natalie Robottom and St. John Councilmember Dale Wolfe.

Also on the ballot is a renewal of a 1-mill property tax that pays for the housing of juvenile offenders in the parish.

The tax, which brought in $294,000 last year, is also being used to fund renovations and maintenance of an administrative building for juvenile probation officers, judges and counselors. If approved, the tax will be levied for 20 years.

To be eligible for early voting, residents should bring their driver’s license or a picture ID to the Percy Hebert Building, 1801 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace, or to the St. John Parish Courthouse, 2393 River Road in Edgard.