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      RS 18:532     

  

§532. Establishment of precincts

            A. Subject to the provisions of R.S. 18:532.1, the governing authority of each parish shall establish precincts, define the territorial limits for which each precinct is established, prescribe their boundaries, and designate the precincts. The governing authority of each parish shall by ordinance adopt the establishment and boundaries of each precinct in accordance with the timetable as set forth in this Section and in accordance with R.S. 18:532.1.

            B.(1)(a) Each precinct shall be a contiguous, compact area having clearly defined and clearly observable boundaries coinciding with visible features readily distinguishable on the ground and approved extensions of such features, such as designated highways, roads, streets, rivers, or canals, and depicted on United States Bureau of the Census base maps for the next federal decennial census, except where the precinct boundary is coterminous with the boundary of a parish or an incorporated place when the boundaries of a single precinct contain the entire geographic area of the incorporated place. Except as otherwise provided in this Paragraph, on and after July 1, 1997, any precinct boundary which does not coincide with a visible feature shall be changed by the parish governing authority to coincide with a visible feature in accordance with R.S. 18:532.1.

            (b) For the purposes of this Paragraph, the term "approved extension" shall mean an extension of one visible feature to another visible feature which has been approved by the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives or their designees and which is or which will be a census tabulation boundary.

            (2) No precinct shall be wholly contained within the territorial boundaries of another precinct, except that a precinct which contains the entire geographical area of an incorporated place and in which the total number of registered voters at the last general election was less than three hundred may be so contained.

            (3) No precinct shall contain more than two thousand two hundred registered voters within its geographic boundaries. Within thirty days after the completion of each canvass, the registrar of voters of each parish shall notify the parish governing authority of every precinct in the parish which contains more than two thousand two hundred registered voters within its geographic boundaries. Within sixty days of such notification, the parish governing authority shall divide such precincts by a visible feature in accordance with R.S. 18:532.1.

            (4)(a) No precinct shall contain less than three hundred registered voters within its geographical boundaries, except:

            (i) When necessary to make it more convenient for voters in a geographically isolated and unincorporated area to vote. A voter in a geographically isolated and unincorporated area shall mean a voter whose residence is outside an incorporated place and who would have to travel by roadway more than ten miles or cross a public ferry to a polling place to vote if the precinct were not established.

            (ii) When the precinct contains the entire geographical area of an incorporated place.

            (iii) When the precinct may not be merged with any adjacent precinct due to voting district boundaries, provided that such a precinct has a consolidated polling place with an adjacent precinct and the number of commissioners for the polling place has been reduced in accordance with R.S. 18:425.1 and 1286.1.

            (b)(i) No precinct shall be established as authorized in this Paragraph unless it is in compliance with the provisions of R.S. 18:532.1(C) and unless the parish governing authority has submitted documentation to the Department of State that the precinct meets one of the criteria in this Paragraph and the parish governing authority has received written approval for the establishment of the precinct from the secretary of state. However, a precinct may contain less than three hundred registered voters if the parish governing authority is responsible for all election expenses incurred in the precinct as provided in R.S. 18:1400.7.

            (ii) In addition to the authority in Item (i) of this Subparagraph, the secretary of state may permit the establishment of precincts with less than three hundred registered voters under extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances.

            (c) Within thirty days after the completion of each canvass, beginning with the 1996 canvass, the registrar of voters of each parish shall notify the parish governing authority of every precinct in the parish which contains fewer than three hundred registered voters within its geographic boundaries. Within sixty days after such notification, the parish governing authority shall merge such precincts with other precincts, unless the approval of the Department of State has been granted as provided in this Paragraph.

            (5) The provisions of Paragraph (4) of this Subsection shall not be effective during the period of time established by R.S. 18:532.1(D).

            C. Each parish governing authority shall provide and maintain at all times a suitable map showing the current geographical boundaries with designation of precincts and a word description of the precinct geographical boundaries. Each parish governing authority shall send a copy of each map, with description attached, to the registrar of voters and the secretary of state. The map may be composed of one or more sheets but each sheet shall not exceed three feet by four feet. The map shall include all existing roads, streets, railroad tracks, and drainage features but shall not include underground utility lines, land use and zoning symbols or shadings, symbols for vegetation cover, topographic contour lines, and similar items that obscure the basic street pattern and names. All features, names, titles, and symbols on the map shall be clearly shown and legible. The map sheet of the entire parish shall be on a scale of one inch equals one mile to one inch equals two miles. Map sheets of each incorporated place within the parish shall be on a scale of one inch equals eight hundred feet to one inch equals sixteen hundred feet. Each map sheet shall indicate the date of the base map or the date of last revision. Wherever the boundaries of a precinct or incorporated place are coterminous, they shall be clearly indicated as such.

            D. The parish governing authority shall also furnish, a map clearly indicating the boundaries of each parish governing authority district, school board district, special election district, representative district, and senate district.

            E.(1) In complying with the provisions of this Section for the establishment of precincts and the prescription of their boundaries, each parish governing authority and registrar of voters shall coordinate with the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives, or their designees, pursuant to their authority to submit a plan for census data for reapportionment under the provisions of Chapter 13 of this Title and shall adopt or adjust precinct boundaries as may be necessary to comply with this Section.

            (2) The proposed precinct boundaries submitted to the United States Bureau of the Census by a parish through the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives or their designees, and approved by the Bureau of the Census as block boundaries for each federal decennial census, shall be the precinct boundaries for the parish for reapportionment purposes following each federal decennial census.

            Acts 1976, No. 697, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1978. Amended by Acts 1977, No. 523, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1978; Acts 1978; Acts 1978, No. 298, §1, eff. July 10, 1978; Acts 1982, No. 559, §1, eff. July 22, 1982; Acts 1985, No. 670, §1, eff. July 16, 1985; Acts 1986, No. 286, §1, eff. June 30, 1986; Acts 1988, No. 329, §1; Acts 1988, No. 403, §1, eff. July 10, 1988; Acts 1990, No. 629, §1; Acts 1992, No. 788, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1993; Acts 1992, No. 803, §1; Acts 1995, No. 552, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, No. 1420, §2, eff. July 1, 1997; Acts 1999, No. 254, §2, eff. July 1, 1999; Acts 2001, No. 451, §6, eff. Jan. 12, 2004; Acts 2004, No. 526, §2, eff. June 25, 2004; Acts 2008, No. 136, §1, eff. June 6, 2008; Acts 2018, No. 550, §1.



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