MILITARY AND OVERSEAS VOTERS
In 2009, Congress passed the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act to provide new procedures for absentee voting by the military and overseas citizens of our country. The Louisiana Legislature passed Act 624 (HB 1200, R.S. 2010) to implement the MOVE Act for Louisiana’s military and overseas voters. The law was amended by Act 195 (HB 524, R.S. 2011) to allow for greater flexibility for military and overseas voters to register to vote and cast a ballot.
Register to Vote
You may register to vote or change your registration online or print an application to register to vote and return it by mail or fax to your parish registrar of voters. Email a request for a registration application to the registrar of voters of the parish where you last resided prior to military service or going overseas.
Return it by mail or fax it to your parish registrar of voters.
Louisiana statute requires you to be registered 30 days prior to an election to be eligible to vote in that particular election. To check the status of your voter registration in Louisiana, log in to the Louisiana Voter Portal.
Request an Absentee Ballot by Mail, Fax or Electronically
Registered voters may submit a request for an absentee ballot electronically by logging in to the Louisiana Voter Portal and:
- click the 'By Voter' button;
- click the 'Voting Information' tab; and
- click the 'Online Absentee Request' link found in the menu on the left.
You must be logged in to the voter portal as the voter for whom the absentee ballot request is intended to electronically submit a request for an absentee ballot.
Or, print an application for absentee ballot for military and overseas citizens, complete it and mail or fax it to your parish registrar of voters.
Military and overseas citizen's requests for absentee ballots must be received by the parish registrar of voters no later than 4:30 p.m. CST one day prior to the scheduled election date.
If you elect to receive your ballot electronically, you will be required to submit your email address. Louisiana's law provides for the protection from disclosure of your electronic mail address, along with your social security number, driver's license number, day and month of date of birth and mother's maiden name.
Use the Federal Post Card Application ("FPCA") to Register to Vote and Request an Absentee Ballot at the Same Time
The Federal Post Card Application ("FPCA") is another option which allows you to register to vote and request an absentee ballot from the date of receipt of the application through two (2) federal general election cycles. Federal elections occur every even year in November and they include a primary election in November and a run-off election in December. The November election is referred to as the“General” election around the country.
Each state has its own laws about who may register and vote. All states require that you be a United States citizen by birth or naturalization, and Louisiana also requires that you were domiciled in the state prior to departure from the U.S.
You may complete the Lousiana FPCA Application online. You must have a valid Louisiana driver’s license number or Louisiana special ID card and an address in Louisiana where you last resided to submit electronically. If a Louisiana driver’s license number or Louisiana Special ID Card number has not been issued, you may complete the online form, print the form and send by mail to the parish registrar of voters.
You may also view the Federal Voting Assistance Program website to complete the FPCA form and send by mail to the parish registrar of voters.
Another option in voting is to use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot ("FWAB") from the Federal Voting Assistance Program website. To use the FWAB you must be registered to vote and have requested your absentee ballot from your parish registrar of voters. Louisiana allows you to use the FWAB to vote in any election for federal office. To vote in state and local elections, you must use Louisiana's absentee ballot. On an FWAB, you may only write in candidates who are on the federal general election ballot in Louisiana.
To track your request for an absentee ballot or the status of returned ballots, log in to the Louisiana Voter Portal and click the 'Ballot Information' tab.
The deadline for returning voted ballots to the registrar of voters office for an election are as follows:
- by 8 p.m. on election day for military personnel;
- by 8 p.m. on election day for U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S.; or
- by 4:30 p.m. on the day before election day for all others.
The state of Louisiana's designated means of electronic communication as required by the MOVE Act is the Louisiana Secretary of State's website.