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      RS 18:435     

  

§435. Watchers; appointment and commission

            A.(1)(a) Each candidate is entitled to have one watcher at every precinct on election day where the office he seeks is voted on in a primary or general election. The candidate or his authorized representative shall file one list of watchers on a form provided by the secretary of state or on a form which contains the same information as required by the form provided by the secretary of state. When a candidate's list of watchers is filed by the candidate's authorized representative, a letter of authorization from the candidate shall accompany the list of watchers; however, the list of watchers shall be signed by the candidate.

            (b) In the case of a presidential election, each slate of candidates for presidential elector is entitled to have one watcher at every precinct. The state central committee of each recognized political party shall be responsible for filing the list of watchers for its slate of candidates for presidential elector, and the list of watchers shall be signed by the chairman of the state central committee. The list of watchers for an independent or other party slate of candidates for presidential elector shall be signed and filed by any person so authorized by the presidential candidate supported by the slate of electors. A letter of authorization from the presidential candidate, or an authorized agent of his campaign, shall accompany the list of watchers.

            (2) In addition to the watchers provided for in Paragraph (1), each candidate may designate one watcher as a "super watcher" who shall have the qualifications, powers, and duties of watchers provided for by R.S. 18:427 and who shall be admitted as a watcher in every precinct in the designated parish where the office the candidate seeks is on the ballot in the primary and general election. The selection of the super watcher shall be made in the same manner as for watchers set forth in this Section.

            (3) Any person who is supporting or opposing a proposition or question to be submitted to the voters or supporting or opposing the recall of a public officer and who has filed a report required by R.S. 18:1486 for such election is entitled to have one watcher at every precinct where the issue he seeks to influence is voted on in an election. For the purposes of this Subsection, "person" means any individual, partnership, association, labor union, political committee, corporation, or other legal entity, including its subsidiaries.

            (4) The commissioners shall regulate the number of watchers inside the polling place as provided in R.S. 18:427.

            B.(1)(a) A list of watchers shall be filed with the clerk of court by hand delivery, facsimile, mail, or commercial courier before 4:30 p.m. on the tenth day before the primary or general election; however, if the tenth day before the primary or general election falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or other legal holiday, the list shall be filed on the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or other legal holiday. For purposes of this Paragraph, "commercial courier" shall have the same meaning as provided in R.S. 13:3204(D).

            (b) A list of watchers submitted by a candidate for the primary election may be used for the general election only if the candidate notifies the clerk of court in writing by 4:30 p.m. on the tenth day before the general election that he wants to use the same list of watchers.

            (2) Except for a candidate or recognized political party filing for a slate of candidates for presidential elector, any person filing a list of watchers must attach a certified statement that the report required by R.S. 18:1486 has been filed with the supervisory committee in compliance with the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act.

            (3) A list of watchers shall contain only one watcher and one alternate watcher for each precinct where the candidate or person submitting the list is entitled to have a watcher. The list shall be typed or legibly written, and it shall contain the name and mailing address of each watcher and alternate watcher, and a designation of the precinct where he is to serve.

            C. The parish board of election supervisors shall promptly issue a commission to each watcher named on a timely filed list of watchers. A person shall not be commissioned as a watcher if he has been appointed as a commissioner-in-charge or selected as a commissioner in the same election. A person selected as an alternate commissioner may be commissioned as a watcher. However, if the alternate commissioner must replace an absent or unqualified commissioner, he shall not serve as a watcher in the same election and his commission as a watcher shall be deemed void. Prior to the opening of the polls on election day, the parish board of election supervisors shall deliver to each precinct a list of the watchers and alternate watchers who are entitled to serve at the election. The list shall specify the precinct or precincts for which each watcher is eligible to serve. A watcher must present his commission to the commissioner-in-charge of the precinct for which he is eligible to serve prior to serving at the polling place.

            D. A candidate, or person as defined in Subsection A of this Section, shall be entitled to have both a watcher and an alternate watcher serve at the same precinct on election day. However, the watcher and alternate watcher may not serve at the same time.

            Acts 1976, No. 697, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1978. Amended by Acts 1977, No. 471, §1; Acts 1978, No. 292, §1, eff. July 6, 1978; Acts 1985, No. 58, §1; Acts 1987, No. 831, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1989, No. 179, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1990, No. 107, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, No. 201, §1, eff. July 2, 1991; Acts 1993, No. 317, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 1999, No. 697, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2001, No. 1181, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002; Acts 2003, No. 1220, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004; Acts 2004, No. 526, §2, eff. June 25, 2004; Acts 2006, No. 560, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007; Acts 2007, No. 240, §1; Acts 2010, No. 570, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2011; Acts 2010, No. 759, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2011; Acts 2012, No. 138, §1, eff. May 14, 2012; Acts 2014, No. 60, §1, eff. May 16, 2014; Acts 2015, No. 307, §1, eff. June 29, 2015.



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