The Webster Parish Police Jury introduced an ordinance as one of the steps necessary to merge voter precincts in the parish.
Ordinance 1011-A was introduced Tuesday during the police jury’s monthly meeting which will merge precincts 21 and 22. If the ordinance is adopted in November, the merged precincts will become Precinct 22.
“There is one precinct that does not have 300 voters in it that by state law has to be combined with another precinct,” jury president Jim Bonsall said.
All the voters in precinct 21 who cast their ballot at the Webster Parish Alternative School will be moved to the Minden Civic Center, to be merged with precinct 22, Melanie Smith, registrar of voters, said in September.
“We checked the precincts to see how many we have that contain less than 300 active registered voters,” she said at the time. “The precincts that have less than 300 active registered voters, we are required to merge them with a larger adjacent precinct. We had nine districts this year, and only one of those precincts is eligible to merge with a larger precinct.”
If they don’t merge the precincts, Smith told jurors the entire cost of the election would fall on the jury’s shoulders.
Earlier this year, the issue came up in police jury committee meetings because the alternative school needs some work and has no air conditioning in its gymnasium. Also, the slope of the parking lot, and sometimes parking, was becoming a problem.
A demographer will have to redraw the precinct lines and rewrite the descriptions to submit to the state for approval.
A public hearing is set for 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 3.