Few in area make use of early voting opportunity

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 16, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

LAPLACE – In just three days, two important elections will take place in St. John the Baptist and St. James, but early voting results show little to no participation at the polls.
Unofficial results obtained from the Secretary of State website show zero votes for both parish elections, although some ballots may have yet to be processed. Secretary of State Tom Schedler agreed that activity at the polls has slow, according to a press release from the department.
“So far, early voting turnout has been very light,” said Schedler. “As of Thursday evening, only 26,558 individuals statewide had cast an early ballot. We are encouraging citizens to take a look at what’s on the ballot in their parish and seriously consider voting early if they anticipate being busy on Election Day.”  
For St. John Parish, the ballot concerns Sheriff Mike Tregre’s second attempt at a proposed quarter-cent sales tax increase. Nearly 60 percent of voters gave the thumbs down to the tax hike in April, but Tregre attributes the initial failure to being in the wrong place at the wrong time — Gov. Bobby Jindal had just begun peddling his now-scrapped 6.25 percent sales tax increase.
The proposed tax jump would cost residents less than $40 a year, according to financial officers at the department. Tregre said the funding would be used to hire more officers, draw new talent and replace equipment lost during Hurricane Isaac.
Two local women are currently vying for the District 6 Justice of the Peace post in St. James Parish. Trinette M. Jasmin and Sylvia “Sue” Williams, both of Vacherie, are listed as candidates. Thirty-one-year-old Jasmin, an assistant manager for a local loan company, previously said her education and experience with notary work would be beneficial to office. Jasmin said she ran for the District 6 position of the St. James School Board in the past.   Williams, 64, is a retired education paraprofessional and a minister at Greater Deliverance Second Baptist Full Gospel Church in Vacherie. Willams feels that she is an asset to the community and said she and her late husband, Lawrence Jr., were active supporters of local political campaigns in the past.  
Election day voting hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on all Saturday elections, and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on all Tuesday elections. Voters must have picture identification to participate. In each parish, the principal office of the registrar of voters in each parish will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. for all Saturday elections, and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on all Tuesday elections.
Voters can also utilize the Secretary of State’s smartphone app, GeauxVote Mobile, as well as www.geauxvote.com, to find out where to vote, what’s on their ballot and their voting districts. For more information about the elections or candidates, visit www.sos.la.gov.