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League of Women Voters

Louisiana Voting Guide

Registration Deadlines
In Person:
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
By Mail:
Tuesday, October 9, 2018 Online by Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Election Dates:
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (General Election)
Secretary of State
PO Box 94125
8549 United Plaza Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
Phone:
225-922-0900
Fax:

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote in Louisiana you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • A resident of Louisiana
  • At least 17 years old (16 years old if registering in person at the Registrar of Voters office or Louisiana DMV) and 18 years old prior to the next election to vote
  • Not currently under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony
  • Not currently under a judgment of interdiction for mental incompetence

ID Needed for Voter Registration

If you register to vote in person at a parish registrar of voters office, you are required to prove age, residency, and identity. You may submit your current Louisiana driver's license, birth certificate, or other documentation which reasonably and sufficiently establishes your identity, age, and residency.

If you don't have a photo ID you can also bring a utility bill, payroll check or government document that includes your name and address.

To register to vote online you must have either a Louisiana driver's license or ID card to complete the form.

ID Needed for Voting?

To vote, you must either present a valid photo ID, or sign an affidavit if no photo ID is available. Acceptable photo ID includes:

  • A Louisiana driver's license
  • A Louisiana special ID card (you can get one for free at the Office of Motor Vehicles by showing your voter information card).
  • Any other generally recognized picture ID card that contains your name and signature

If you do not have any form of ID, you can still vote by signature on a voter affidavit.

You can also get a free Louisian Special ID at the Office of Motor Vehicles by showing your voter information car.

Registration Deadline

Louisiana statutes require you to be registered 30 days prior to an election (20 days if registering online) to be eligible to vote in that particular election.

You can now register to vote online! If you submit your application online you must have a Louisiana driver's license or Louisiana special ID card number to complete the process. You will also need to enter the last four digits of your social security number on the form.

Verify Voter Registration

To see if your voter registration status is inactive, please use your state resource. This resource will tell voters if their registration is currently listed as inactive. If you have moved since the last time you voted, please re-register by the registration deadline. If your address has not changed from the last time you registered, you are eligible to vote, but will be asked to confirm your address when voting.

To verify your voter registration status, please contact your local election's official.

Absentee Ballot Process

You must have a reason to vote by mail, unless you are a military or overseas citizen (please see below for more information for military and overseas voting). There are 12 reasons to vote by mail:

  • You are a senior citizen 65 years of age or older
  • You are a home or a nursing home or veterans' home resident and you have been previously approved for the Disability program, or you are disabled, homebound or a nursing or veterans' home resident and you are submitting current proof of disability with your application. For more information on the Disability Program, click here.
  • A student, instructor, or professor (or spouse or dependents of the following,) in an institution of higher learning located outside the parish.
  • A minister, priest, rabbi, or clergy (or spouse or dependents of the following,) assigned to a religious post outside the parish.
  • A person who is or who expects to be temporarily outside the territorial limits of the state or absent from the parish during early voting and on Election Day.
  • A person who has moved after the registration books closed (30 days prior to an election) to another parish and the new residence is more than 100 miles from the parish of former residence.
  • A sequestered jury member.
  • A person who expects to be hospitalized on Election Day and did not have such knowledge until after early voting week passed.
  • A person who expects to be hospitalized on Election Day and who was hospitalized during early voting.
  • A person who was hospitalized and released prior to an election but who is either hospitalized or restricted to bed during early voting and on Election Day.
  • A person who by virtue of employment or occupation expects to be out of their precinct during early voting and on Election Day.
  • You are involuntarily confined in an institution for mental treatment outside your parish of registration and you are not interdicted and not judically declared incompetent.

To request normal absentee ballots by mail, you must complete and return a request for absentee ballot indicating the reason you are not able to vote in person absentee or in person on Election Day.

You may request an absentee ballot as early as 60 days prior to the election.

Timeline to request an absentee ballot by mail

  • Military Personnel: Anytime before 4:30pm on the day before election day
  • US Citizens residing outside the US: Anytime beofre 4:30pm on the day before election day
  • Hospitalization: By 4:30pm on the day before election day
  • All others: Anytime before 4:30pm on the 4th day before election day

Deadlines for returning your voted ballots

  • Military Personnel: By 8pm on election day
  • US citizens residing outside the US: By 8pm on election day
  • Hospitalization: By 8pm on election day
  • All others: By 4:30pm on the day before election day

You are entitled to receive assistance while absentee voting if you are unable to read or unable to vote without assistance because of a physical handicap, including blindness. You may choose who assists you as long as they are not a candidate, employer, employer's agent or your union agent.

Displaced voters can vote by mail or vote early in person at the registrar of voters office of their parish, or on election day at their precinct. Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Early Voting

You do not need a reason to vote early. All voters may vote early, just like they are voting on election day.

Voters who want to vote early for any election may do so in person at their parish Registrar of Voters office or at designated locations in the parish from 14 days to seven days before any scheduled election. For more information on dates and locations for early voting, please use your state's resource.

Election Dates

The next election is Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (General Election). The in person and mailed registration deadline is Tuesday, November 9, 2018. Online registrations are due by Tuesday, October 16, 2018.

Contact your local Board of Elections for more information.

Poll Worker Information

In order to be a poll worker in Louisiana:

  • You must be registered to vote in Louisiana
  • You will be entitled to compensation
  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • Political affiliation required
  • You must be a resident of election precinct
  • You must complete required training
  • Students who are at least 17 years of age who are otherwise a qualified voter may work if they are registered as a high school senior
  • College students may choose to register to vote in either the state they are attending school or the place they reside when they are not in school

To sign up, contact your local board of elections.

Polling Place Hours

Polls will be open from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm on all Tuesday elections, and from 7:00am to 8:00pm on all Saturday elections.

Time Off To Vote

Time off to vote is subject to the employer. Louisiana state law does not require employers to grant time off to vote for employees.

Polling Place Locator

You can find your polling place by utilizing your state resource.

If you have further questions on your polling place location, please contact your county clerk.

Provisional Voting

You must be a registered voter in the parish where you vote and eligible to vote in the election for federal office for your provisional ballot to be counted. There are several reasons why you may vote a provisional ballot. Those reasons are:

  • You are in the parish where you are registered to vote and you are voting at the wrong precinct.
  • You are in a precinct that is not in the parish where you are registered to vote.
  • You are not registered to vote in Louisiana, and you enter a precinct to vote.

For all these instances, you may vote a paper provisional ballot for federal offices, you will not be allowed to vote on the voting machines for state, local or municipal offices, propositions or constitutional amendments.

If you have cast a provisional ballot and would like to know if it was counted, please utilize your state's resource. Voters should wait at least 7 days after an election to check the status.

Voting Machines

The voting system used in Louisiana is DRE.

Direct Recording Electronic (DRE): This is the newest kind of system in use in the U.S. All the information about who and what you are voting for is on an electronic screen like a TV or computer screen.

There are many variations of DREs because lots of companies are inventing new ones, and many cities, counties and states are trying them out. Usually, after you have signed in, the poll workers will give you a card that you slide into a device to start your voting session.

Some of these devices will show all of the candidates and ballot choices on one big screen. Often, with these big screen devices you push a button next to the name of the candidate you want to vote for (or yes or no on a ballot measure). On other DREs, the screen is set up to show pages. On each screen or page, there will probably be one thing to vote on. For example, on one screen or page, you might vote for president. Then you might move to the next page to vote for senator. Often these small-screen devices have a touch screen, where you touch the screen next to the name of the person you want to vote for. Other devices have a key pad. And some have a keyboard, so you can write in the name of someone you want to vote for.

You let the system know you are finished voting by pushing a button, touching the screen or entering something on a keypad.

You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) resource.

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

Information on local, state and federal candidates and ballot measures may be available here.

To see a list of available races, visit the race index.

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

Voters who are physically unable to vote in person at the polls on Election Day and unable to vote in person at the registrar's office may be eligible for the special program for physically handicapped voters. Call your parish registrar of voters office and ask for more details to see if you are eligible. Disabled voters may go to the front of the line at their polling place.

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Campaign Finance Information

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets.

For information on state campaign contributions, please visit your state's resource.


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