TITLE 18. LOUISIANA ELECTION CODE

CHAPTER 5. PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTIONS

PART V. VOTERS AND VOTING

SUBPART B. PLACES FOR VOTING

 

18:533      Establishment and location of polling places;  responsibility for acts or omissions

 

A. Establishment.   (1) The governing authority of each parish shall establish one polling place for each precinct.  Each polling place shall be equipped with proper electric current, fixtures, and outlets necessary to properly operate the voting machines and otherwise to conduct the election.  Each polling place shall have sanitary facilities available.  The governing authority shall complete a survey form prepared by the secretary of state for each polling place in its parish and shall certify to the secretary of state that each polling place meets the accessibility standards for individuals with disabilities adopted by the secretary of state.

 

(2) The parish governing authority shall, to the extent possible, locate multiple precincts in a polling location, if it determines after due consideration that to locate multiple polling places within the same polling location would be efficient, cost-effective, and convenient to voters.

 

B. Location.   (1) Except as otherwise provided in this Subsection, the polling place for a precinct shall be located in the precinct in a suitable public building and all public bodies are hereby required to allow the use of public buildings as voting precincts without cost or charge when the parish governing authority requires it.  If no public building is available, then a precinct may be located on private property.  The parish governing authority shall inform the secretary of state as to whether the parish polling places are located in public buildings or on private property.

 

(2) When, after the exercise of due diligence, the governing authority of a parish is unable to secure a location for a polling place within a precinct, the governing authority may select a location for the polling place which is within the nearest precinct having proper facilities.  All other laws relating to the establishment and location of a polling place shall be complied with.  The governing authority shall take all reasonable steps to notify the residents of the precinct of the location of the polling place.

 

C. Prohibited locations. A polling place shall not be located in or on the grounds of:

 

(1) A place where beverages of high or low alcoholic content are dispensed to the public, but this prohibition shall not prevent the location of a polling place on premises housing a nonprofit organization whose principal business is not the dispensing of beverages of high or low alcoholic content, but no such alcoholic beverages shall be dispensed on such premises during election day or for three hours before the polls open.

 

(2) A jail, penitentiary, or other penal institution.

 

(3) A mental hospital or a mental health center.

 

(4) An eleemosynary institution where wards of the state are confined or housed at state expense, except educational institutions and the United States Marine Hospital No. 88 at Carville.

 

(5) Private property owned, occupied, or leased by a candidate in the election or the spouse of any such candidate, or an officer or employee of the state or any of its political subdivisions.

 

D. Payment for use of private property. When it is necessary to pay for the use of private property as a polling place, the payment shall not exceed one hundred fifty dollars for each election.

 

E. Lease.  Prior to the designation by the governing authority of any polling place to be located on private property, the governing authority shall enter into a written lease for such property which lease shall state that the property is to be used as a polling place for a specified precinct and that the polling place is not owned, occupied, or leased by a candidate in the election, or a spouse of any such candidate, or an officer or employee of the state or any of its political subdivisions.  Such lease shall be recorded in the office of the clerk of court for the parish wherein such property is located and in addition shall be prominently posted in the office of the registrar of voters.  After July 1, 1986, the lease shall also be filed with the secretary of state.  The secretary of state shall not pay precinct rental for a polling place if a copy of the lease thereon has not been properly filed at least thirty days prior to the election, unless a change in the location of the polling place was necessitated immediately prior to the election and the governing authority lacked sufficient time to transmit a copy of the lease to the secretary of state prior to the election.  Lease contracts entered into immediately prior to the election shall be filed with the secretary of state not later than ten days after the election for payment to be made by the secretary of state.  Payments on leases filed later than ten days following an election will not be made by the secretary of state except for subsequent elections.

 

F. Responsibility for acts or omissions.   (1) An owner, lessee, or occupant of a premises to be used by any person as a polling place on any election day shall not be liable to such person for injury to person or property which occurs on the premises while it is being used as a polling place on any election day.

 

(2) This Subsection does not exclude any liability which would otherwise exist for willful or malicious injury to persons or property or liability imposed on the owner, lessee, or occupant of the premises pursuant to Civil Code Articles 2317 and 2322.

 

(3) Nothing in this Subsection shall be construed to relieve any person using the premises of another as a polling place from any obligation which he may have in the absence of this Subsection to exercise care in his use of such premises, or from the legal consequences of failure to employ such care.

 

(4) The word "premises" as used in this Subsection includes lands, private ways, buildings, and structures which are being used as a polling place, or used as access to a polling place, on any election day.

 

Acts 1976, No. 697, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1978.  Amended by Acts 1978, No. 580, § 1;  Acts 1980, No. 506, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981;  Acts 1984, No. 426, § 1;  Acts 1985, No. 754, § 1;  Acts 1985, No. 754, § 1;  Acts 1990, No.  107, § 1, eff.  Jan. 1, 1991;  Acts 1995, No. 715, § 1;  Acts 2001, No.  1181, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002;  Acts 2005, No. 431, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2006;  Acts 2006, No. 403, § 1, eff. June 15, 2006;  Acts 2009, No. 436, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2010.