Local voters take to polls Saturday

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Louisiana registered voters will cast ballots Saturday for the 2012 presidential primary election, select party representation for both Democrat and Republican caucus participation and Thibodaux residents will decide on funding bonds with a half-cent sales tax.

Polls will open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Voters are told to bring photo identification or some proof of residency, which could include a utility bill. Registrar of Voter offices will remain open until 9 p.m. to cover any confusion or answer questions from election judges.

In the Tri-parish region, Thibodaux is the only location with a funding referendum, which if passed would establish a new one half-cent sales tax to buy bonds for the building, equipping and maintaining of new public parks.

Voters in the Montegut area will select a justice of the peace from a field of three candidates including Republicans George Doescher and Bill Underwood and Cathy LeBoeuf, who has no party affiliation.

Election Day participants are encouraged to check their status in advance, according to Terrebonne Parish Registrar of Voters Linda Rodrigue. Newly registered voters must be 18 years of age on or before Election Day, a bona-fide resident of the parish where they will be voting and a citizen of the United States. Naturalized citizens and those born outside the United States must present naturalization papers or a birth certificate at the Registrar’s Office when applying for voter registration.

Although 2012 is also a congressional election year, that primary will not be conducted until the same day as the general presidential election on Nov. 6. The general congressional election will then be conducted on Dec. 1.

The March 24 primary ballot includes:

Democrat presidential candidates listed as Bob Ely, Darcy Richardson and John Wolfe along with incumbent President Barack Obama.

Republican presidential candidates listed on the ballot, although some have already dropped out of the race, are Michelle Bachman, Randy Crow, Newt Gingrich, John Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Charles “Buddy” Roemer, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

RSCC races for the Tri-parish region include Dist. 50 in St. Mary Parish with candidates Jessie Morton and Blake Steiner.

In Terrebonne Parish the RSCC candidates include for Dist. 51, Sub District B, Joseph Harrison Jr. and Lucas Huddleston. In Dist. 53 Sub District A the candidates are Theresa Ellender, Leroy Trosclair Jr. and June Squyres Williams. A Ward 6 Justice of the Peace primary is also on the ballot with candidates George Doescher, Cathy LeBoeuf and Bill Underwood.

The Lafourche Parish RSCC race for Dist. 54 puts candidate Brent Callais against Irv Magri.