CPPJ votes to move downtown Lake Charles voting precinct

Updated: Aug. 22, 2019 at 4:18 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury voted whether to move voting precinct 310 from the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse to the Carnegie Memorial Library for the Oct. 12 election.

The Rouge et Blanc Wine Festival is planned for 4-8 p.m. Oct. 12 on Ryan Street between the 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center and the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse.

Smoke & Barrel is also planned for an upcoming Election Day— November 16 — from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse Lawn.

The police jury voted at Thursday night’s meeting to move the polling location because of these two events.

“One is Rouge et Blanc and the other is the Smoke & Barrel event. At both of these events, liquor will be served and there can’t be alcohol served within 300 feet of a polling place," Tom Hoefer, CPPJ communications director, said.

Some police jurors and a concerned citizen wondered why these events weren’t planned accordingly.

“I mean, we have election days, we have election days planned, how far in advance?" Judd Bares said.

“We knew when this election was coming. It don’t look right, to be honest with you," Paul Geary, a concerned citizen, said.

However, Hoefer said the move was going to happen soon despite the downtown festivities.

“No. There was no consideration of changing the dates or the event. Since the polling place is going to be moved due to some projects upcoming anyway, we just moved that, we really just moved that up ahead anyway," Hoefer said.

Kim Fontenot, Calcasieu registrar of voters, told 7News she wasn’t aware of any construction interfering with the 2019 election schedule.

Hoefer said along with social media posts, signage at the courthouse, and personnel at the courthouse to redirect voters, voters will be notified by mail.

Residents will still be able to vote early at the courthouse as normal from September 28 to October 5.

Hoefer said as of October 12, Carnegie Memorial Library will be the polling location for the precinct 310 until further notice.

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