Voters in the Feliciana parishes were scheduled to be involved in early voting this week for the April 4 presidential preference primaries and local elections, but the onset of the coronavirus pandemic resulted in emergency action to postpone the balloting.
The first round of voting is now set for June 20, with runoffs, if necessary, on July 25.
Unless the voting is postponed again, East Feliciana Parish voters in Slaughter, Jackson and Norwood are scheduled to elect municipal officers for four-year terms.
The new terms for Slaughter, Jackson and Norwood officials are scheduled to begin July 1, but the state’s scheduling of the runoff elections for July 25 could result in some outgoing officers remaining in office a little longer in Jackson.
Voters in West Feliciana Parish may also vote on two school tax propositions, while voters in both parishes may cast ballots to fill an appellate court vacancy.
Early voting for the June 20 election is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., June 6-13, except for Sunday, June 7, at the Registrar of Voters offices in Clinton or St. Francisville.
Voters who are registered as independents or members of other political parties may not participate in the Democratic or Republican presidential preference voting or for other party offices that are on the ballot.
Only registered Democrats may vote in the Democratic presidential preference contest, while only Republicans may vote for their choice of presidential candidate. Voters will see many candidates on the ballot who have already announced the end of their campaigns.
All voters, however, may vote in the municipal, judgeship or tax elections they see on their ballots.
In Slaughter, five candidates signed up in January to run for the town's Board of Aldermen and were elected without opposition. They are Mona Almond, incumbent Sheila Fletcher, Michelle Harris, Allen Hobgood and Steve Rader. Their names will not appear on Slaughter ballots.
Incumbent aldermen Liz Aaron, Roy Corcoran, Keith Day Jr. and Janis Landry did not seek reelection, but Landry is opposed by Melissa Davis in the race for Slaughter mayor.
Mayor Robbie Jackson, who is not seeking reelection, said he believes the newly elected officials will be eligible to take office July 1, barring any legal challenges, because the two races on the ballot will be settled without a runoff.
Jackson said he has served 24 years as an alderman and mayor and believes it is time for new officials with new ideas to begin serving the town.
The two candidates vying for the police chief's post are Chance Davis, the son of mayoral candidate Melissa Davis, and Walter Smith Jr.
Smith was serving his fourth term when he resigned the post in July 2017. Gov. John Bel Edwards later appointed Alderman Dave Almond as police chief, but Smith decided to seek the office again after Almond declined to run for reelection.
In Jackson, Mayor Charles Coleman, who is serving his fifth term, decided not to seek reelection, but he is running for one of the five seats on the town's Board of Trustees.
Linda Karam, former Mayor James Norsworthy III and Junius "Pappy" Robillard are seeking Coleman's position.
If the mayor’s race is not settled June 20, Coleman told The Advocate last week he is willing to continue as mayor until his successor is chosen.
Three candidates are running in Jackson for town marshal, including first-term incumbent Mark Dousay. He is opposed by Fred Allen, who served as marshal for two terms, and "Ray Bubba" Allen, who has served one term in the post.
In addition to Coleman, the candidates for the Board of Trustees are William Free, David Guillory, incumbent Michael Harrell, incumbent Don Havard, Martin Macdiarmid, MaryAnn McCoy-Ridenour, Tamara Michael and incumbent Rafe Stewart.
In Norwood, Becky Bellue is seeking her third term as mayor against Jimmy McCaa.
Candidates for the three seats on the Norwood Board of Aldermen are incumbent Willie Duncan, Tyler Glascock, former Mayor David Jett and incumbent Kimmi Sellers.
In West Feliciana Parish, the School Board is asking voters to renew a half-cent sales tax for 10 years and also renew a 3.75-mill property tax for 10 years.
The half-cent sales tax is dedicated to general school operations, as well as specific programs to continue furnishing laptops to high school students and offering a foreign language program for elementary and middle school students.
The property tax is earmarked for supplementing salaries by $3,000 per year for employees with instructional certificates and $2,000 per year for employees who do not have the certificates.
The sales tax also contributes funds for other technology, including security devices to keep students safe in their schools, Superintendent Hollis Milton has said.
Milton said Sunday that the School Board’s bond attorney has said the state Bond Commission will accept a June 20 vote on the taxes although the elections originally were called for April 4.
Voters in the Felicianas will participate with those in five other southeast Louisiana parishes to elect a judge to the Division D seat from the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal's 3rd District.
The candidates are 22nd Judicial District Judge Richard A. "Rick" Swartz, of Covington, and 21st Judicial District Judge Elizabeth "Beth" Wolfe, of Albany.
The winner will finish the term begun by Will Crain, who was elected last year to the Louisiana Supreme Court.