LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - As Southwest Louisiana continues to rebuild in the wake of Hurricanes Laura and Delta, changes in polling locations coupled with concerns over the Coronavirus could make this election season the most challenging yet.
With two major hurricanes and a health pandemic, voting in Southwest Louisiana will look a lot different.
Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin held a press conference Friday with local elected officials to discuss polling location changes ahead of the November 3rd election.
“Anyone who is displaced and will remain displaced has the opportunity to vote absentee,” said Ardoin. "They just have to call their registrar and request an absentee ballot under the circumstance they’re in.”
Ardoin says most voters in hard-hit areas of Calcasieu and Cameron parishes may not be voting in their usual polling place on November 3. In Calcasieu Parish, damage was sustained to at least 100 precincts. Ardoin says they are expecting a large number of absentee ballots this election due to so many people still being displaced.
“In 2016, there were 63,000 absentee ballots with 90,000 requests. Right now, we’re at 208,000 requests and have received 70,000 ballots.
Among the challenges, volunteers to run the polls. However, Ardoin is confident they’ll have enough for early voting and election day.
“Lines are going to look longer because of social distancing, and they’ll be additional complications here due to the two hurricanes. As long as you’re in line by 8 pm, you will get to vote," said Ardoin.
On Election Day, voting will take place at 29 different precincts, with 8 of them being new locations due to damage sustained from Hurricane Laura. Ardoin says if your polling location changed, you will receive a letter in the mail. All absentee ballots bust be mailed in by 4:30 pm on November 2.
You can find out what’s on your ballot HERE.
- Sulphur Law Enforcement Building - 500 N. Huntington St. Sulphur, LA 70663
- Moss Bluff Library - 261 Parish Rd. Moss Bluff, LA 70611
- Lake Charles Civic Center Exhibition Hall - 900 N Lakeshore Dr, Lake Charles, LA 70601
- Allen Parish Registrar of Voter’s Office - 105 N. Fifth St. Oberlin, LA 70655
- Beauregard Parish Police Jury - 201 West 2nd St. DeRidder, LA 70634
- Grand Lake Library - 10200 Gulf Hwy. Grand Lake, LA 70607
- Hackberry Community Center - 980 Main St. Hackberry, LA 70645 (Only available on Oct. 26 - 27)
- 302 N. Cutting Ave. Jennings, LA 70546-5361
- Annex - 301 E. Courthouse St. Leesville, LA 71446-4330