Early voting in House race begins

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 19, 2006

VIDALIA &8212; For the first time, Concordia Parish residents can vote early for any reason or none at all.

Early voting for the primary election started Monday and runs through Saturday.

This is the first year voters can vote early without listing a reason, Concordia Parish Registrar Golda Ensminger said Monday.

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&8220;You don&8217;t have to give an excuse when you come to vote (early),&8221; Ensminger said. &8220;Prior to this, you had to have a reason, like if you expected to be hospitalized or out of the parish on election day. Early voting does away with reasons.&8221;

Recent state legislation eliminated the list of accepted reasons to vote early, Ensminger said. Other states have similar laws, she said, and now, Louisiana residents have more flexibility when voting.

&8220;If you vote earlier, if something comes up &8212; if you get sick or it&8217;s bad weather &8212; you don&8217;t have to worry about it,&8221; she said.

To vote early, a voter must come into the registrar of voters&8217; office in Vidalia any time between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to cast his vote.

Primary elections are Sept. 30, and House District 21, school board, and Ridgecrest mayor and aldermen positions are on the ballot.

A voter still has to produce picture identification, she said.

&8220;We ask for a Louisiana driver&8217;s license or a Louisiana special identification,&8221; Ensminger said.

If a voter does not have either identification, they have to give another form of identification and fill out an affidavit.

Then, they vote on the electronic voting machines like any other election, she said.

Absentee voting by mail is also an option. Except for military personnel or those overseas, absentee ballots can be mailed in up to the day before elections.