No, all registered voters may cast a ballot during the early voting period at the Registrar of Voters Office
or at an alternate site designated for early voting
. You do not need a reason to vote early.
The early voting period is from 14 days to seven days before each election, from 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. (except Sundays and legal holidays).
Persons in nursing homes may apply for the nursing home program
to vote during the early voting period at the nursing home.
No, a voter who has voted during the early voting period or voted absentee by mail may not vote at the polls on Election Day.
Your responsibilities as an early voter are:
- to be prepared to provide photo identification (Louisiana driver's license, Louisiana special identification card, or other generally recognized picture identification card that contains you name and signature) or complete a Voter Identification Affidavit if no photo identification is available. To obtain a free Louisiana special identification card, present your voter information card to the Office of Motor Vehicles;
- to notify your parish registrar of voters of any changes to your registration (failure to update your residential address may result in an inactive registration status and cancellation after 2 federal general elections);
- to restore your voting rights after being convicted on felony charges by presenting proof of completion of sentence to your parish registrar of voters in person (disabled or homebound may submit by mail, fax or commercial carrier);
- to not bring or wear any campaign literature to the early voting location;
- to be aware of the hours of early voting;
- to review the posted ballot, review your sample ballot online at the Louisiana Voter Portal or download the GeauxVote app for any smartphone or tablet for the latest voting information in order to timely cast your ballot;
- cast your vote within the three minute time limit or if receiving assistance or using the audio voting keypad, within 20 minutes; and
- promptly leave the early voting location after voting.
You have the right to:
- a 600 foot campaign-free zone free from solicitation, intimidation, harassment, confusion, obstruction and undue influence, use of violence, force or threats or action that impedes your entrance or exit to the location that you are voting early at;
- vote privately and independently in an area that is free from any campaign materials;
- vote in a location that meets accessibility standards for individuals with disabilities;
- go to the front of the line, along with the person who will be assisting you to vote if you have a visible physical disability or have in your possession a current mobility-impaired photo ID card bearing the international symbol of accessibility issued by the Office of Motor Vehicles;
- use a braille booklet describing the use of the audio ballot or use a page magnifier that will magnify the face of the voting machine (inform the registrar or deputy registrar if these items can be of use to you); and
- receive assistance in casting your ballot or use the audio ballot if you are unable to read or unable to vote without assistance due to a physical disability, including visual impairment (voters entitled to assistance in voting are allowed up to 20 minutes to cast their ballots).
An inactive status means that your registration address has not been verified through the annual canvass of the voter rolls or election correspondence sent to your registration address has been returned as undeliverable by the postal service to the registrar of voters
To return to active status, you must verify your residential address prior to voting, which may be done when you vote early or vote on Election Day. You may also do this in person at the Registrar of Voters Office
or by mail through a voter registration application
. If you verify your address before Election Day, you must do so at least 30 days before an election for your status to be updated for that election.
No, to restore your voting rights after a felony conviction, you must present proof of completion of sentence to your local registrar of voters in person
. If you are disabled and homebound, proof of completion of sentence may be submitted by mail, fax or commercial carrier.
If you are entitled to receive assistance in voting, you may receive assistance of any person of your choice, including a registrar or deputy registrar, except:
- a candidate in the election;
- an employer or employer's agent;
- a union agent; and
- staff of state-operated facilities for disabled persons (by rule, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) prohibits staff from assisting residents of state-operated facilities for mentally disabled/developmentally disabled persons).
The person assisting you shall sign the precinct register prior to entering the voting machine with you. No person assisting you shall reveal the name of any person for whom you voted for, any proposition upon which you voted or anything which took place while you were being assisted.
Prior to receiving assistance due to a disability, including visual impairment, you are required to file with the registrar, or present to the registrar or deputy registrar a statement setting forth the necessity and reasons for the assistance and furnish proof by one of the following documents:
- a certificate of a medical doctor or optometrist certifying to the irremediable nature of the physical disability as proof of disability;
- a current or copy of a current mobility-impaired photo identification card issued by the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles; or
- a copy of current documentation showing eligibility for social security disability benefits, veteran's disability benefits, paratransit services, benefits from the Louisiana Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities or benefits from Louisiana Rehabilitation Services.
If filing proof of disability with the registrar of voters by mail, the voter is required to include a copy of his or her Louisiana driver's license, Louisiana special identification card, or other generally recognized picture identification card that contains the name and signature of the voter. The registrar will then indicate that the voter is entitled to assistance on the precinct register and the voter will not be required to present evidence at the polls in any future elections.
Please note, if you request assistance because you are unable to read or write then assistance must be given to you regardless of documentation.
Each voter is required to identify himself by giving his name and address to a registrar or deputy registrar; and by presenting a Louisiana driver's license, a Louisiana special identification card or other generally recognized picture identification card that contains the name and signature of the applicant or by completing a Voter Identification Affidavit if no photo identification is available. A voter without photo ID may vote after completing the affidavit but is subject to challenge by law.
You may obtain a free Louisiana special identification card by presenting your voter information card to the Office of Motor Vehicles.
Louisiana uses the AVC Edge Voting System
during early voting. Paper ballots may be used, if necessary. All elections are open to all eligible voters in Louisiana, except for the Presidential Preference Primary
and the state and local party elections (Democratic and Republican State Central Committees and Parish Executive Committees).
The voting machine is a touchscreen voting machine. When voting, tap the screen lightly. To cast a ballot, a voter shall make at least one selection in a candidate or proposition election. You are allowed by law three minutes to cast your vote, or 20 minutes if entitled to assistance or using the audio voting keypad.
After receiving a voter card, insert it into the bright yellow slot located at the bottom left of the voting machine. Insert the voter card until you hear it click. Ask for assistance if needed to insert your voter card. Select a candidate of your choice or select yes or no for a proposition by tapping the box to the right of the candidates name or next to the yes or no. A green x will appear in the box indicating that your selection is made.
To change your selection, press the box again. The x will disappear and you may make a new selection. Continue to the following page by touching the NEXT arrow located at the bottom right side of the screen. To return to the previous screen, touch the BACK arrow at the bottom left side of the screen. Review a summary of all your votes on the review page. To make a change, touch the office or issue to return to the ballot page for that contest.
To complete voting, touch the yellow square that reads TOUCH HERE TO CAST YOUR VOTE.
You will see RECORDING VOTE, PLEASE WAIT.
Then you will see VOTE RECORDED, THANK YOU
. Please return your voter card. Your vote will be counted electronically and tabulated by the Parish Board of Election Supervisors on election night.
No, Louisiana does not allow write-in candidates.
Louisiana state law prohibits:
- giving or offering to give, directly or indirectly, money or anything of present or prospective value to influence a vote;
- intimidating, deceiving or misinforming, directly or indirectly, any voter or prospective voter in matters concerning voting or nonvoting;
- voting or attempting to vote more than once at an election;
- offering money or anything of apparent present or prospective value or use, directly or indirectly, or engage in any form of intimidation to influence the action or encourage inaction of any election official with regard to the duties of their office;
- disobeying any lawful instruction of the registrar, deputy registrars, commissioners or a law enforcement officer assisting at the early voting location or without lawful authority, obstructing, hindering or delaying any voter on his way to or while returning home from any early voting location where an election is held or impede a voter from entering or exiting an early voting location;
- voting or attempting to vote, knowing that you are not qualified, or influencing or attempting to influence another to vote, knowing such voter to be unqualified or the vote to be fraudulent;
- voting or attempting to vote in the name of another or in an assumed or fictitious name, or in any manner other than as provided by the Louisiana Election Code;
- supplying a false answer or statement to an election official or on any document required by the Louisiana Election Code, or executing an affidavit knowing it to contain false or incorrect information;
- forging the name of another, or using a fictitious name on an affidavit or document required by the Louisiana Election Code;
- unlawfully, directly or indirectly, possessing, tampering with, breaking, impairing, impeding or otherwise interfering with the maintenance, adjustment, delivery, use or operation of any voting machine or with any paraphernalia connected with or appertaining to the machine;
- voters, election officials, watchers (Election Day only), or persons assisting a voter to allow a ballot to be seen, (except as provided by law), announce the manner in which a person has cast a ballot, place a distinguishing mark on a ballot with intent to make the ballot identifiable or make a false statement concerning a voter's ability to mark a ballot without assistance;
- coercing, compelling or otherwise influencing an assisted voter to cast a vote in a certain way or fail to mark the ballot or vote in the manner dictated by the voter by the person providing assistance;
- signing another voter's name in the precinct register;
- attempting to influence an election official or watcher (Election Day only) in the performance of his or her duties;
- appearing in an intoxicated condition or possessing any beverage of alcoholic content;
- voting at the polls on election day if you have voted early or submitted your absentee by mail ballot;
- voting if you have moved more than three months ago to an address outside of the parish or if registered to vote in another parish or state;
- remaining within any early voting location or within a radius of 600 feet of the entrance of any early voting location, except when exercising the right to vote, after having been directed by a registrar, deputy registrar, commissioner or law enforcement officer to leave the premises or area of an early voting location;
- placing or displaying political signs, pictures, or other forms of political advertising and/or handing out, placing or displaying campaign cards, pictures or other campaign literature of any kind or description whatsoever, unless on private property which is not being used as an early voting location;
- carrying or possessing a firearm, except a peace officer in the performance of his or her duties; and
- accepting directly, or indirectly anything of economic value, including reimbursement of costs, for the purpose of transporting a voter to an early voting location or for driving or being in charge of any motor vehicle being used for such purpose (bus, taxi or licensed transportation are exempt).
Federal law prohibits:
- knowingly and willfully intimidating, threatening, coercing or attempting to intimidate, threaten or coerce any person for voting or urging or aiding any person to vote or attempting to vote in any election for federal office;
- knowingly and willfully depriving, defrauding, or attempting to deprive or defraud the residents of Louisiana of a fair and impartially conducted election process by the procurement, casting or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious or fraudulent under the laws of the state of Louisiana in any election for federal office; and
- conspiring to injure, oppress, threaten or intimidate any person in the free exercise or enjoyment of the right to vote or because of his or her having so exercised the right to vote.
Yes, a law enforcement officer may be used by a registrar of voters to maintain order at any location where early voting is conducted. A law enforcement officer may not interfere with the conduct of the election, the voters, or the election officials.
No, except for a peace officer as defined by La R.S. 40:2402(3)(a)
in the performance of their official duties.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, prohibits racial or language minority discrimination in voting. To make a discrimination complaint under the Federal Voting Rights Act, contact:
Chief, Voting Section, Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530
To make a complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, contact:
Voting Rights Division, Department of Justice toll-free 800.514.0301 (option 7)
To report voting fraud, contact the Elections Division toll-free at 800.883.2805 or contact the nearest office of the FBI or your local U.S. Attorney's office.
To file a written notarized complaint with the elections division of the Louisiana Department of State, contact:
Commissioner of Elections
Department of State
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125