Beauregard voters to decide runoff, tax renewals

<p class="p1">Voters in Beauregard Parish will decide a runoff election for DeRidder’s at-large council member seat Saturday, April 28, along with the fate of a parishwide sales tax renewal. Polls will open at 7 a.m.</p><p class="p1">Vying for the council position are incumbent Vincent Labue, Chance Lewis, Mike Harris and Billy Spikes. Voters will select two candidates from the slate.</p><p class="p1">Voter Registrar Robin Darbonne said last month’s primary election brought in 975 early voters, but that early voter turnout for Saturday’s election was 896.</p><p class="p1">“For a runoff, sometimes we see that happen,” Darbonne said. “But everything that we are hearing and seeing leads me to believe that we will still have a strong voter turnout on Saturday.”</p><p class="p1">She said voter turnout parishwide was still low and that many people aren’t aware of the polling dates.</p><p class="p1">“The most often response we get here is that people are unaware of the voting dates,” she said. “And unfortunately there is not much more that the registrar’s office can do to get that information out.”</p><p class="p1">Darbonne said she has begun encouraging voters to download the state’s Geaux Vote smartphone app so they can be alerted to upcoming elections and ballots.</p><p class="p1">“It’s a great app, and it can provide notifications of elections and polling times and locations,” she said “It’s a really useful tool that I wish more voters knew about.”</p><p class="p1">Saturday’s election will affect residents parishwide because it includes the continuation of a 10-year, 1 percent sales tax, which is expected to collect $2.5 million a year.</p><p class="p1">Parish Administrator Bryan McReynolds said the proceeds from the tax would be used to construct, improve, operate and maintain roads and bridges, as well as acquire any needed equipment.</p><p class="p1">McReynolds said 35 percent of the proceeds would go to parishwide work crews, 35 percent to equipment and equipment repairs, and 30 percent to acquire materials and supplies to be divided equally among the eight parish wards.</p><p class="p1">Polling places will close at 8 p.m.</p>

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