Every Vote Counts: Local woman spearheading voter registration drive

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, August 21, 2019

LAPLACE — With election season drawing near, Georgia Keller of LaPlace is on a mission to promote voter registration while reminding residents that every vote counts.

Volunteers are welcome to attend a 2 p.m. informational meeting Saturday at ZoraChristina Café and Catering, located at 2003 W. Airline Highway next to New Wine Christian Fellowship in LaPlace. Voter registration will be available, and attendees will make a game plan to bring voter registration documents to as many as 300 St. John Parish residents within the next two weeks.

Keller will walk door-to-door with volunteers on Aug. 31 and Sept. 9 to encourage new voter registration and give those already registered a chance to update their voter information, whether it relates to change in residence, change in political party or disability.

“I’ve been talking to a lot of people, especially young people, who are not registered to vote,” Keller said. “It really drove me to want to do something in my community, as well as to help in local, state and national elections that are coming up by giving everybody an opportunity. Maybe they just don’t know where to register to vote or how to do it, so we want to give them that chance.”

Keller said going door-to-door is the best way to reach a large amount of people and ensure they have the materials needed for registration on hand.

A driver’s license or state issued ID is required to register to vote in Louisiana. Alternatively, residents who do not have a driver’s license or ID can provide identification in the form of a utility bill, payroll check or a government document that includes name and address.

The Louisiana Secretary of State approved Keller to conduct a registration drive and mailed her enough registration applications to make a significant impact in her community.

Additionally, Keller hopes to coordinate a registration day for high school seniors who will be 18 years old in time for the Oct. 12 election.

“I think one of the barriers to voter registration is just not knowing,” Keller said. “There’s not enough exposure. It’s so easy now because you can actually register online too at sos.la.gov. If they just Google GeauxVote, it takes them straight to the Secretary of State’s website. That’s something they didn’t have in the past that we have now.”

Another barrier to voting is the perception that one vote isn’t enough to make a difference, according to Keller.

“Some people don’t really know the importance of voting and that every vote counts,” Keller said. “We don’t want people to think their voice can’t be heard. Their vote might be the deciding factor between whether a candidate wins or loses.”

All volunteers are accepted and encouraged to attend Saturday’s meeting at ZoraChristina to add input on which areas of St. John Parish to focus voter registration efforts. Those who wish to register to vote on Saturday must bring identification.

“We are up against deadline,” Keller said. “We have to have everything submitted to the secretary of state or to the local registrar’s office postmarked by Sept. 12.”

Keller’s effort coincides with Voters’ Registration and Education Week, recognized Sept. 3-6, 2019. Registration opportunities will be available at the following locations, according to Russell H. Jack Jr., Registrar of Voters for St. John the Baptist Parish.

Tuesday, Sept. 3:

– West St. John High, 480 Highway 3127, Edgard; 9 a.m.

– Southeast Louisiana Veterans Home, 4004 W. Airline Highway, Reserve; 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 4:

– East St. John High, #1 Wildcat Drive, Reserve; 7 a.m.

Thursday, Sept. 5:

– Riverside Academy, 332 Railroad Ave., Reserve; 8 a.m.

– St. Charles Catholic High School, 100 Dominican Dr., LaPlace; 11:54 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 6

– St. John Council on Aging (West Bank), 3445 Highway 18, Juan A. Joseph Memorial Park, Edgard; 11 a.m.

– St. John Council on Aging (East Bank), 214 Regala Park Rd., Reserve; 10 a.m.

For more information, visit sos.la.gov.