An expansion is underway at the St. Charles Parish Courthouse that is nearly doubling the size of the Registrar of Voters office, just in time for this year’s election.
“It will make it more convenient for people to come in and early vote,” said Registrar Brian Champagne. “They’ll have more space and, hopefully, make the process work better.”
Although the office has operated efficiently with limited space since the courthouse was built in 1976, more space is needed, particularly as more older, handicapped and mobility impaired voters are voting early.
Both Champagne and Parish President Larry Cochran pointed to an uptick in early voters, rising from around 100 to more than 500. They had started putting voting machines in the hallway to accommodate that increase.
‘We needed to tackle that one immediately,” Cochran said. “It’s a better environment, not only for the Registrar of Voters, but also for our citizens.”
The expanded office will allow room for more than twice as many voting machines, from five to up to 12.
“It will improve everything we do,” Champagne said. “It’ll make us more efficient. It will have records and proper storage.”
Champagne said they will return to the office in the week of Sept. 9, although the staff is there moving records.
“It will improve everything we do.” — Brian Champagne
At an estimated 600 square feet, the office had remained at is original size since the courthouse opened in 1976. Champagne said the expansion has been discussed for years by previous administrations, and Parish President Larry Cochran developed a plan with the cooperation of Clerk of Court Lance Marino.
Marino’s office is providing the added space for registrars, while regaining space or offices to the rear of his office. It also will soon be reconfigured to facilitate services.
Cochran said the multiphase project is long overdue.
“The expansion and remodeling is aimed at giving people the space they need,” he said.
Overall, Cochran said they are assessing the departments’ space needs in order to update the courthouse efficiently.
Voter Registration Week, Sept. 3 – 6
- Voters age 17 years or older can register to vote by visiting www.GeauxVote.com or contact the local Registar of Voters Office.
- The Registrar of Voters Office will conduct voter registration drives and demonstrating new early voting machines at the following locations: Sept. 4 – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – East Regional Library, 160 W. Campus Drive, Destrehan, and Sept. 5 – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – West Regional Library, 105 Lakewood Drive, Luling.
- Options for seniors: Besides voting in person on Election Day or Early Voting at the Registrar of Voters Office, those 65 years and older may receive their election ballot by mail. Mobility impaired have the option to receive ballots by mail or electronic mail. Voters who enroll in the ballot by mail program have the option to vote the mailed ballot or appear at their polling place to vote on Election Day. Additional “Mail Ballot Request Forms” are on the St Charles Parish website: www.stcharlesparish-la.gov/registrar. The Registrar of Voters Office Tab is located under Parish Governmental Agencies.
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