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Registrar of voters retiring

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Lincoln Parish Registrar of Voters Dianna Stone is retiring effective Dec. 31.

Stone has been registrar since September of 2000.

“I have enjoyed my time as registrar and I have enjoyed the people I have worked with. The time has come,” Stone said in her retirement letter sent to Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin.

It’s Ardoin’s office that deals with all voter and election matters. However, local registrars are appointed by their parish police jury. The Lincoln Parish Police Jury has 90 days from the time Stone leaves office to name a new registrar.

On the agenda for today’s police jury meeting is an official announcement of the upcoming vacancy. By law, the jury can’t name a successor until Stone vacates office. At the earliest, that appointment could come in late January.

Deputy Registrar Sharon Parnell will act as registrar until a new registrar is appointed.

The vacancy must be legally advertised and applicants sought.

Stone was one of 27 applicants when she was selected to succeed the late Lillian Fallin.

“I’ve enjoyed the people, I’ve enjoyed the work. I feel like it’s significant and worthwhile,” Stone said.

Voter registrars not only maintain active voter rolls but also conduct early voting, deal with recall and referendum petitions, and have to keep abreast of changes in state election laws, as well as changes in voting district boundaries that may be brought about by reapportionment.

“It’s been constant change,” Stone said.

Registrars statewide have gone from being under the purview of the Department of Elections to the Secretary of State. Absentee voting has changed to early voting, and the ballot, from paper to electronic.

“We used to have to pick out the ballot each person received when they came in to absentee vote,” Stone said. “One time we had 45 (different) ballots.”

Stone has worked five presidential elections as well as local regular elections, special elections and a number of referendums. She said the presidential elections stand out the most because of the voter interest they typically draw.

Stone said her retirement plans include travel and visiting her grandchildren.