Lots of thoughts after another Election Day in Natchitoches Parish, State of Louisiana, USA.
We go through the same processes with a small runoff election that had a less than ten percent turnout as we did with with the November Presidential election with, in many precincts, a 75% turnout and overall almost 70% turnout.
The two days before Election Day, we prepare and then deliver voting machines to 50 precincts across the parish thanks to the Secretary of State Warehouse personnel, the delivery guys and Natchitoches Parish Deputy Custodians.
On Election Day, the Clerk of Court and staff crank up before 6:00 am at the courthouse and all around the parish the Deputy Custodians and election commissioners and Commissioners in charge are setting up by 6:30 to be ready for the voters starting at 7:00. They check the machines and prepare the precincts for those first voters. On most elections this is all going on state wide by Clerk’s, their staffs and citizens of their parishes.
At the courthouse we check in with the precincts and answer their calls assisting with what they need.
Later the Board of Election Commissioners start checking the mail in ballots making sure they were properly done. We get the Early Vote ready to report at 8:00 pm.
Meanwhile the Election Commissioners are helping all day at the polls, 10% or 70% turnout, both in local, parish wide, state wide and National elections. They do their job well and are on the front line of helping deliver fair and accurate elections. Yes, a 14 to 15 hour day can be brutal and I’ve never seen anything less that professional and friendly service delivered.
You would think that would be the day but back at the courthouse we start receiving the votes to process down to the Secretary of State via secured lines. Last night we were out of the courthouse by 10:00 pm. An amazing system Louisiana has in order to have the vote out to the public in less than two hours from the closing of the polls.
I’ll steal from the cable TV ad, BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
We have accomplished this during the virus, and even through the Christmas Festival was greatly reduced, still plenty of traffic as we try to get the vote delivered. Special thanks to Sheriff Stuart Wright and some super Deputies of the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Department.
This morning the Deputy Custodians are back at the precincts to meet the deliverymen and get the machines safely back to the warehouse.
This week we will check the machines and later certify the election.
Every election there are plenty of people to thank from the ones mentioned to our staff at the Clerk’s office. Regardless of if you vote every election or just the Presidential and Gubernatorial elections, these folks are the unsung heroes of the election process.
Finally, be assured, regardless of what you see and hear on the national news, thanks to the processes put in place by the State of Louisiana Secretary of State’s office and carried out by among others, the citizens I have mentioned, we are set to deliver accurate results to you.
Thanks for your support and thanks for voting.
Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court