Voting places change due to storm

By Cyndi Sellers

Traditional voting places in eastern Cameron Parish have been damaged or destroyed, so two “mega sites” have been approved for the Nov. 3 Presidential and General Election, it was announced Tuesday by Clerk of Court Susan Racca.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin approved the mega sites, placing all Cameron, Creole and Grand Chenier voting precincts at the Creole Fire Station, 184 East Creole Hwy, and all Grand Lake, Sweetlake, and Big Lake precincts at Brown’s Grocery, 10051 Gulf Hwy, Grand Lake. Precinct locations will remain the same for Johnson Bayou, Klondike. Lowry and Hackberry.

Ardoin was in Lake Charles on Friday for the start of early voting in Louisiana, encouraging citizens to exercise their right to vote even in the midst of hurricane recovery. “This has been an unprecedented set of difficult circumstances,” he said, “but we’ve rallied together to weather the storm.” Members of his staff and Clerks of Court across the state have worked hard to organize the November election in the face of COVID-19 and two hurricanes.

“A safe, accurate and fair election was our utmost priority and the right of a voter to cast their ballot has remained at the forefront for us, Ardoin said. Early voting has been extended, and is ongoing until Oct. 27 (excluding Sunday) at the Grand Lake Library, with two days of voting at the Hackberry Community Center, Oct. 26-27.

When voting in person, Ardoin reminded citizens to bring appropriate identification, which includes a license, Louisiana special identification, Louisiana wallet app, military identification, or other generally recognized picture identification that includes name and signature. Citizens without ID can vote via a voter identification affidavit to be filled out at the polling site.

The deadline to return absentee ballots is 4:30 p.m. the day before the election. To avoid long lines at the polls, Ardoin recommended early voting. COVID-19 protocols and social distancing will be in place at all polling places. Poll commissioners will be wearing PPE and sanitizing machines between uses.