Mayor asks sec. of state to make River Center available as polling location for fall elections

Updated: Sep. 8, 2020 at 10:13 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome has sent a letter to Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin requesting the Raising Cane’s River Center be used as a polling location for the upcoming Nov. 3 and Dec. 5 elections.

Broome says the use of the River Center, which is located in downtown Baton Rouge, would allow voters to practice proper social distancing on Election Day.

“As you are aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely altered our way of life. We are forced to re-think how we operate as a society under this ’new reality,’” Broome said in the letter. “With that in mind, I believe that an emergency election plan should take into account the seriousness of this pandemic.”

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“Unfortunately, I am concerned that the plan you have submitted to date does not make this possible,” she continued. “Residents, many considered to be high-risk for infection of COVID-19, would be forced to risk their health to cast their vote in this pivotal election. To that end, I am asking for your support and approval to use the Baton Rouge River Center as an additional polling location for East Baton Rouge Parish. Doing so will allow for adequate social distancing that may not be available at other locations.”

According to the mayor’s office, the parish has 14,253 cases of COVID-19. Broome also says there are 25 COVID-19 patients on mechanical ventilators and 109 patients hospitalized due to the virus in the Louisiana Department of Health Region 2, which includes the Baton Rouge area.

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