The League of Women Voters of Louisiana provides information as a service to the citizens of Louisiana. In addition to publicly available information, there are analyses for each of the proposed Constitutional Amendments prepared by local Leagues and candidate’s answers to policy questions to help you to make informed voting decisions .
VOTING ON ELECTION DAY
STATE ELECTIONS: POLLS WILL BE OPEN FROM 7:00 AM UNTIL 8:00 PM.
FEDERAL ELECTIONS: POLLS WILL BE OPEN FROM 6:00 AM UNTIL 8:00 PM
Voters that are in line to vote at 8:00 pm will be allowed to cast their ballots.
Voters must provide one of the following: A Louisiana driver’s license, a Louisiana identification card or any other generally recognized picture ID. If you do not have a picture ID, then you may present any other identification card plus further information such as a utility bill and a completed Voter Identification Affidavit.
Only one person at a time is allowed in the voting booth. If you are unable to read, an election official may assist you. If you are unable to vote without assistance because of a physical handicap, you must bring a physician’s certificate with you or have one on file.
Disabled voters and their assistant may go to the front of the line at their polling place.
CLICK HERE to learn your polling site for your address.
EARLY VOTING IN PERSON
Early voting in person is available 14 to 7 days prior to a set election, excluding Sunday. Any registered voter may vote early for any reason. Early voting locations for each parish are available online. You may vote early at any of those locations in your parish. All locations are open from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.
When you vote early in person you must bring a Louisiana Driver’s License, Louisiana Special ID, or other official picture ID that has your name and signature. If you do not have a picture ID, be prepared to bring other proof of residency such as a utility bill, and be prepared to fill out an affidavit.
Absentee ballots may only be obtained from the Parish Registrar of Voters Office. You may request a ballot by mail or by fax. Absentee ballots must be received by the Registrar of Voters by the close of business the day prior to the scheduled election.
CLICK HERE to download an Absentee Ballot request form.
Disabled citizens or those over 65 can choose to vote absentee by mail in all future elections by returning this completed form to their parish’s Registrar of Voters.
The request must include the voter’s name, address of registration, date of birth, Social Security number, the mailing address, the reason the person is unable to vote in person and, most important, the voter’s signature as it appears on the rolls.
If you have registered to vote by mail and have not voted in a prior election, you must vote in person, either during an early voting period or on a regular election day in order to be eligible to cast an absentee ballot by mail.
Handicapped and housebound citizens can apply for regular absentee voting by contacting the Registrar of Voter’s Office and requesting the forms for the Housebound Program be sent by mail. The forms must be signed by a doctor and returned to the Registrar’s Office in City Hall.
Citizens that return a ballot by fax waive their right to privacy.
THE LOUISIANA PRIMARY SYSTEM
The State of Louisiana recognizes five political parties: Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian and Reform. When a citizen registers to vote, his federal primary participation is determined by the party he listed in his original registration. If a voter wishes to change his party designation, he must change his voter registration 30 days prior to the election. The form for registering to vote can also be used to change party designation.
If a voter does not list any of the five recognized parties, he is an unaffiliated voter. Unaffiliated voters are not registered with a party or registered with a non-recognized party.
CLOSED FEDERAL ELECTION PRIMARIES
Closed primary elections are only held to elect candidates as presidential electors every four years. Unaffiliated voters or members of a party that has not put forth a candidate in Louisiana will not be eligible to vote. Presidential electors will be the participants in the Electoral College.
Voters are not restricted by party in the general federal election; they may vote for any candidate.
OPEN LOCAL AND STATE PRIMARIES
All qualified voters registered in Louisiana may vote on candidates for public office in primary and general elections without regard to the voter’s party affiliation or lack of it, and all candidates for public office who qualify for a primary or general election may be voted on without regard to the candidate’s party affiliation or lack of it.
If a single local or state candidate wins by majority vote (50% plus 1 vote) in a primary, he will be considered the winner and there will be no general election for that office. If there is no majority winner, the two local or state candidates with the highest number of votes will be in a run-off in the general election in November. In the open system, the two run-off candidates can be from the same political party.
LOUISIANA ELECTION CODE
LOUISIANA ELECTION CODE RS18: sections 401-402
The complete Louisiana statutes covering all aspects of voting, elections and the official offices administering elections can be found in the Revised Statutes 18: sections 401,402. The complete Revised Statutes can be accessed on the Louisiana State Legislative website. http://www.state.la.us
HOW DO I APPLY FOR RESTORATION OF VOTING RIGHTS?
In Louisiana, the right to vote is automatically restored upon completion of your sentence of imprisonment, probation, or parole. Once an offender has completed a sentence of imprisonment or supervision, they will receive documentation from the facility where they were incarcerated or from the probation officer stating that they have completed the sentence (if this document is lost, an ex-offender will need to contact the P&P District Office where they were supervised or the Clerk of Courts Office). CLICK HERE for locations of P&P offices. The ex-offender will take this documentation to the Registrar of voters’ office with a completed voter registration form, where their name will be restored to the voting rolls.