Sulphur voting districts redrawn, leaving some voters confused - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Sulphur voting districts redrawn, leaving some voters confused

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(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)
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SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) -

If you vote in Sulphur, you may not be voting in the district you think. New district lines drawn by the Sulphur City Council have created some confusion among voters.

New district lines are drawn every ten years after each census. This is to make sure that each district has about the same number of voters.

Badeia Gadd is a poll commissioner in Sulphur, yet even she just found out that she's not voting in the council district she used to.

"We found out we're no longer in District 4. We're now in District 3, and I think a lot of people need to be aware of it," said Gadd.

Calcasieu Registrar of Voters Angie Quienalty said that since the council drew new district lines, some voters are now in different districts than they were previously.

"Some in District 5 have now moved to 4. Some in District 4 have now moved to 3. Some in District 3 have now moved to 2. Not everybody has been affected by this, but we are encouraging voters to be informed of these changes, the new districting plan, before they go vote on early voting or on election day," said Quienalty.

Adding to the confusion, the council had to split precincts to adhere to the new boundaries. There are two precincts that contain parts of three different council districts.

In some precincts, who you vote for literally depends on which side of the street you live on. In Precinct 403 on Kent Drive, voters on the west side of the street vote in District 2, while voters on the east side vote in District 3.

To avoid surprises, voters are urged to do their research now, before the upcoming election. Gadd agreed, knowing how frustrated people get if their ballot is not what they expect it to be.

"Some get a little irate. Some handle it fine. It just depends on the person, I guess, and how well you knew your councilman," said Gadd.

If a voter enters a voting booth and thinks that he or she has been given the wrong ballot, Quienalty said it is okay for that person to ask the commissioner to double check. This must be done before the cast vote button is hit, however, and any votes cast should be de-selected.

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