Skip Navigation Links
      RS 18:532.1     

  

§532.1. Changing boundaries

            A. The parish governing authority shall have authority, in accordance with this Section, to change the configuration, boundaries, or designation of an election precinct. Any change so determined shall be adopted by ordinance of the parish governing authority. Within fifteen days after adoption of the ordinance, the parish governing authority shall send to the secretary of state a certified copy of the ordinance and a copy of the map showing the new precinct boundaries and designations together with a written description of such boundaries. The parish governing authority shall comply with the provisions of R.S. 18:1941 when changing precinct boundaries.

            B.(1) A parish governing authority shall change a precinct only by dividing the precinct into two or more precincts except as provided in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection.

            (2)(a) When in order to make it more convenient for voters to vote, to facilitate the administration of the election process, or to comply with the provisions of R.S. 18:532(B)(1) or (4), it becomes necessary to merge all or part of a precinct with adjacent precincts, a part or parts may be merged but only when the parts that are joined are in the same legislative, Public Service Commission, State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, state, federal, and local governing authority voting district as such districts have been redistricted subsequent to the release of the latest federal decennial census. However, no precinct shall be merged unless the local governing authorities and the parish, city, or other local public school boards within the area affected by the merger have completed redistricting and, if required, received preclearance pursuant to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

            (b) In order to establish block boundaries for a subsequent federal decennial census, proposed precinct mergers submitted for review through December thirty-first of any year of which the last digit is nine in accordance with Subsection C of this Section, shall not be subject to the requirement that the precincts or parts of the precincts shall be in the same state, local, and municipal office voting district and shall not be subject to the provisions of Paragraph (C)(3) of this Section; however, any mergers accomplished pursuant to the provisions of this Subparagraph shall be effective for the following purposes at the following times:

            (i) Not later than March thirty-first of any year of which the last digit is zero for the purpose of establishing block boundaries for the federal decennial census and for reapportionment and redistricting purposes following that federal decennial census.

            (ii) Not later than July first of any year of which the last digit is one for all purposes.

            (3) Any establishment, division, or merger of precincts as provided in Paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Subsection shall be considered a change in precinct boundaries and shall be subject to the requirements of this Section.

            C.(1) The parish governing authority shall comply with the provisions of R.S. 18:532(A), (B), (C), and (E) when changing any precinct boundary.

            (2)(a) In determining features to be used as precinct boundaries, the parish governing authority shall consult with the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives or their designees. The parish governing authority shall submit proposed changes in precinct boundaries to the secretary and the clerk or their designees on United States Bureau of the Census maps prepared for the next federal decennial census and, where practicable, by electronic medium. No change in a precinct boundary may be made by the parish governing authority without prior review and approval by the secretary and the clerk or their designees, except as provided in this Paragraph. Such review shall consist of a determination whether the proposed precinct change coincides with a visible feature depicted on a base map that will be used by the United States Bureau of the Census to determine visible tabulation boundaries for the federal decennial census.

            (b) The secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives or their designees shall send a report of the findings resulting from the review to the parish governing authority within forty-five days after the receipt of the proposed precinct changes. If the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives or their designees fail to respond within forty-five days after the receipt of the proposed precinct changes, the proposed visible feature for precinct boundaries shall be deemed to be approved by the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives or their designees.

            (3)(a) In addition to the requirements of Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, when the proposed precinct change involves a merger authorized by Paragraph (B)(2) or Subparagraph (D)(1)(b) of this Section, prior to adoption by ordinance, the parish governing authority shall submit proposed changes of the merger to the secretary of state. No change in a precinct merger may be made by the parish governing authority without prior review and approval by the secretary of state, except as provided in this Paragraph. Such review shall consist of either a determination that the proposed merger of the precincts establishes a precinct or precincts where all parts of each proposed new precinct are in the same state, local, and municipal office voting district or a determination that the voting machine is capable of accommodating all elections that will occur in the precinct if the proposed merger occurs and the proposed merger will not cause voter inconvenience.

            (b) The secretary of state shall send a report of the findings resulting from the review to the parish governing authority within forty-five days after the receipt of the proposed precinct changes. If the secretary of state fails to respond within forty-five days after the receipt of the proposed precinct mergers, the proposed mergers shall be deemed to be approved by the secretary of state. No precinct shall be merged until all local governing authorities and the parish or city school board within the area affected by the merger have completed redistricting and, if required, such redistricting has been precleared pursuant to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

            D.(1)(a) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no election precinct shall be created, divided, abolished, or merged or the boundaries thereof otherwise changed between December thirty-first of any year of which the last digit is nine and January first of any year of which the last digit is three.

            (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph to the contrary, if the legislature has completed the reapportionment required by Article III, Section 6 of the Constitution of Louisiana following the latest federal decennial census and, if required, has received preclearance pursuant to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the parish governing authority may merge precincts upon the parish governing authority's certifying in writing to the office of the secretary of state that the parish governing authority and all school boards within the parish have completed all redistricting that is required following the latest federal decennial census, if required, have received preclearance pursuant to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and have received written approval to merge the precincts from the office of the secretary of state.

            (i) A certified copy of the ordinance describing such precinct mergers, a written description of proposed new precinct boundaries, and a copy of a map clearly detailing the precinct boundaries within the parish shall be sent to the secretary of the Senate, the clerk of the House of Representatives, the secretary of state, the clerk of court, and the registrar of voters of the parish within fifteen days after the adoption of the ordinance.

            (ii) No precinct merger shall become effective without prior review and approval by the secretary of state, the secretary of the Senate, and the clerk of the House of Representatives, or their designees. The secretary of state, the secretary of the Senate, and the clerk of the House of Representatives, or their designees shall send a report of the findings of the review to the parish governing authority within forty-five days after receipt of the proposed precinct changes. If the secretary of state, the secretary of the Senate, or the clerk of the House of Representatives, or their designees fail to respond within forty-five days after receipt of the proposed precinct changes, the proposed precinct changes shall be deemed to be approved by the official or designee who failed to respond.

            (2)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection to the contrary, if after the release of the federal decennial census data a parish governing authority is unable to comply with applicable law regarding redistricting and reapportionment, including adherence to traditional redistricting principles, in the creation of its redistricting or reapportionment plan using the whole precincts submitted to the United States Bureau of the Census, the parish governing authority may divide a precinct into two or more precincts; any such division shall be by a visible feature which is a census tabulation boundary. Upon dividing a precinct, the parish governing authority shall notify the secretary of state of such precinct division in writing.

            (b) Any such parish governing authority shall include the precinct changes in its ordinance establishing its redistricting or reapportionment plan.

            (c) Within fifteen days after the adoption of the ordinance, the parish governing authority shall send to the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives a certified copy of the ordinance and a copy of a map showing the new precinct boundaries together with a written description of such boundaries. If the precinct changes were the result of action in a court of competent jurisdiction, the parish governing authority shall include a certified copy of the court order, and the secretary and the clerk shall likewise be notified of appeals filed or other actions that pertain to any such order or ordinance.

            (d) The provisions of this Paragraph shall not be construed as authority for a parish governing authority which has adopted or accomplished redistricting or reapportionment or is able to redistrict or reapportion itself in accordance with applicable law using the whole precincts submitted to the United States Bureau of the Census to divide precincts. Any plan adopted by a parish governing authority in contravention of this Subsection shall be null and void, and no election shall be conducted using any ballot based on such a null and void plan. Any declaration of nullity of a plan pursuant to this Paragraph shall be by a court of competent jurisdiction. In the event a plan is declared null, such declaration shall not affect the validity or legality of any actions taken by, ordinances or regulations adopted by, or contracts entered into by the governing authority elected pursuant to the null plan.

            E.(1) A precinct shall not be changed, and no precinct shall be established or altered in any way, including alphabetical division by voter surname, and no annexation shall be implemented during the period commencing on the tenth business day prior to the date the qualifying period opens and ending on the date of the general election.

            (2) No precinct change or annexation that is made prior to the tenth business day prior to the date the qualifying period opens shall become effective for the election unless the information required in Subsection A of this Section, including notice of preclearance if required pursuant to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, is received by the secretary of state prior to 4:30 p.m. on the tenth business day prior to the date the qualifying period opens.

            F. Within fifteen days after the adoption of the ordinance as provided in this Section, the parish governing authority shall send to the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives, the secretary of state, the clerk of court, and the registrar of voters a certified copy of the ordinance and a copy of a map showing the new precinct boundaries together with a written description of such boundaries.

            Added by 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 1987, No. 831, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1988, No. 329, §1; Acts 1988, No. 909, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1989; Acts 1990, No. 288, §1, eff. July 5, 1990; Acts 1990, No. 629, §§1 and 2; Acts 1992, No. 803, §1; Acts 1993, No. 418, §§1 and 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, No. 552, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, No. 1420, §§2, 3, eff. July 1, 1997; Acts 1999, No. 254, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 1999, No. 254, §2, eff. July 1, 1999; Acts 2001, No. 451, §6, eff. Jan. 12, 2004; Acts 2002, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 123, §1, eff. April 23, 2002; Acts 2003, No. 1022, §1; Acts 2004, No. 526, §2, eff. June 25, 2004; Acts 2008, No. 136, §§1, 3, eff. June 6, 2008; Acts 2010, No. 824, §2, eff. June 30, 2010; Acts 2012, No. 138, §1, eff. May 14, 2012; Acts 2012, No. 726, §1; Acts 2014, No. 675, §1; Acts 2016, No. 281, §1, eff. May 31, 2016; Acts 2018, No. 550, §1.



If you experience any technical difficulties navigating this website, click here to contact the webmaster.
P.O. Box 94062 (900 North Third Street) Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9062