The clerk of court is the parish’s chief elections officer and ex-officio custodian of voting machines. As such, the clerk, along with several other government entities, is tasked with various election duties. The clerk of court qualifies candidates for office in municipal, parish, state legislative, and certain judicial elections, while the Louisiana Secretary of State qualifies candidates for statewide, congressional, state appellate and supreme court, board of elementary and secondary education, and public service commission elections. The Jefferson Parish Council selects poll locations and establishes precinct boundaries, and the Jefferson Parish registrar of voters, an appointee of the council, registers voters, maintains the voter registration database, and conducts early voting.
Following the candidate qualifying period, the secretary of state prepares the ballot and the voting machines for the upcoming election. The clerk’s elections department conducts training seminars for commissioners and commissioners-in-charge and sends notices to precinct custodians and candidates. One month before the election, the five-member Board of Election Supervisors selects, at random, qualified commissioners to staff each precinct. The board meets once annually to select commissioners-in-charge for each precinct in the parish. On election day, the commissioners and commissioners-in-charge administer the election. The clerk and secretary of state are available to support them should problems arise. After the polls close, deputy clerks tabulate the vote using the voting machine cartridges brought to the courthouse by the commissioners-in-charge, while the Board of Election Supervisors counts the early-vote ballots. Following the election, the Board of Election Supervisors promulgates the result, which is submitted to the secretary of state.
For each election, the clerk of court must staff and manage various polling locations in neighborhoods throughout Jefferson Parish (272 precincts in 149 locations). This requires the work and commitment of nearly 1,400 election commissioners who must be trained to manage the complexities of the voting process. Each precinct is staffed with a commissioner-in-charge and four commissioners. The clerk of court encourages citizens to participate in the elections process as a commissioner, because fully-staffed precincts are essential to the integrity of the voting process.
6-Minute Limit to Cast Vote
Voters shall not remain in the voting machine longer than six minutes. The poll commissioners will notify voters when the six minute limit has elapsed, and they have the authority to remove any voter who exceeds said time limit.
Assistance to Voters
Voters who require assistance with voting must first notify the Registrar of Voters and provide a statement setting forth the necessity and reasons for assistance and shall furnish a certificate of a medical doctor or optometrist certifying the irremediable nature of the physical handicap in question. Thereafter, the voter is not required to furnish the information. Said statement and certificate may be provided at the polls, and the poll commissioner will retain the documents for the Registrar of Voters office. A voter also is entitled to receive assistance if he/she presents a “mobility impaired ID card” issued by the La. Dept. of Motor Vehicles, a paratransit card, or a letter of disability awards. Also, if a voter is unable to read, he/she is allowed to have assistance.