Qualifying for upcoming elections begins

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It was a busy day this morning in the Calcasieu Clerk of Court's office where candidates for local offices gathered to officially sign up to run. There's always an air of excitement as candidates and some of their supporters show up on the first day of qualifying to see who will run for office on the fall ballot.

Besides state senate and state representative, parishwide offices are up-- that's sheriff, clerk of court, tax assessor and coroner. And it looks as though a number of police jurors face competition in their bids for re-election.

Except for a minor computer glitch no major surprises says Calcasieu Clerk of Court Lynn Jones,  " Most of the candidates that were talking about running showed up first thing this morning. We had a large crowd. We had a little glitch with the new system from the Secretary of State's Office in our qualifying software but we got it working and we got them out of here in about 30 to 45 minutes."

Jones, himself running for re-election, reminds candidates to bring qualifying fees in the proper form. "We cannot take a personal check or a campaign check. It has to be a cashiers check or bank money order or cash and that's very important because a lot time we have candidates come in with the wrong form of payment and also every different office has different qualifying fees so you can look that up on the Secretary of State web site or call us and we'll tell you what your qualifying fee is."

Though qualifying continues until Thursday at 5 p.m. They don't recommend waiting until the last minute.  The state computer cuts off at exactly 5 p.m.  Said Jones, "If you're 30 seconds past five o'clock then you'd be too late."

And so they're off and running. The election is October 22nd.

Qualifying continues tomorrow, September 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday, September 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00p.m.

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