How do I register to vote?
To register and vote, you must be:
- a U.S. citizen;
- at least 17 years old, but must be 18 years old prior to next election to vote;
- not under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony;
- not under a judgment of full interdiction for mental incompetence or partial interdiction with suspension of voting rights;
- reside in the state and parish in which you seek to register and vote.
Register online, it’s fast and easy! Visit www.GeauxVote.com.
Register in person at your parish Registrar of Voters Office, when you apply for or renew your driver’s license at any Office of Motor Vehicles or when obtaining services at public assistance agencies and armed forces recruitment offices.
Register by mail by completing an application available at www.GeauxVote.com, public libraries and through registration drives.
How do I register to vote if I am a convicted felon?
To restore your voting rights after a felony conviction, you must present proof of completion of your sentence to your local registrar of voters in person. If you are disabled and homebound, proof of completion of your sentence may be submitted by mail, fax or commercial carrier.
Commissioners are responsible for conducting all election day duties at their assigned precinct, enforcing election laws, maintaining order at the polling place during the election and posting results.
To be a commissioner, you must be a registered voter in the parish where you are going to serve. The exception to this rule is if you are otherwise qualified to serve as a commissioner and you are a 17-year-old enrolled in the 12th grade, graduated, received your GED or you are a 17-year-old who is participating at the 12th grade level in a home study program; however, a 17-year-old will only be authorized to serve as a commissioner.
If a commissioner-in-charge or commissioner is running for office or an immediate family member is running for office for a specific election, he or she may not serve in any precinct where his name or the name of any immediate family member is on the ballot.
You must attend the required course of instruction given by your parish Clerk of Court’s Office and pass a test that is given at the end of the school to become a certified commissioner.
At the beginning of each new term for the parish clerk of court, commissioners and commissioners-in-charge must be recertified.
Certified commissioners earn up to $200 an election and certified commissioners–in-charge earn up to $250-300 an election, depending on the number of precincts.
Remember, electioneering within 600 feet of the polling place is not allowed. Private property is exempt.
Vote by Mail
Vote by mail if you will be absent during early voting and election day, if you are in the military, an overseas citizen, a person with a disability, a senior citizen, a student or if you qualify under one of the 12 reasons allowed in Louisiana to vote by mail.
Review all 12 reasons to vote by mail at www.GeauxVote.com under Vote by Mail. You can download and print an application, learn how to apply online or simply send your registrar of voters a letter requesting to vote by mail with the reason and the election date.
Vote by mail automatically for all elections if you are a person with a disability or a senior citizen. Complete the application form and mark Option No. 2 and mail the form to the Registrar of Voters Office or apply online at voterportal.sos.la.gov. Proof of disability is required when initially applying for an automatic mail ballot for reason of disability.
You will remain in the automatic mail ballot program until such time that a ballot is returned to the Registrar of Voters Office as undeliverable or you request to be removed from the program.
Be sure to return your voted mail ballot timely to the Registrar of Voters Office.
The deadline for receipt of your voted mail ballot by the Registrar of Voters Office is 4:30 p.m. the day before election day, except for military and overseas citizens, who have until election day.
Louisiana relies on its dedicated citizens to perform the public service of working the polling places on election day. If you are interested in serving as a commissioner, please contact your local clerk of court.
Commissioners-in-charge have worked as commissioners in prior elections and are responsible for presiding over the election and the commissioners in their precincts, counting and tabulating votes and delivering the election results to the Clerk of Court’s Office on election night.
If I am a student living away from home, how do I know where to register and vote?
As a Louisiana resident and student in Louisiana, you may register and vote in the parish of your home residence or in the parish where you are attending school, if you have a school address (e.g., apartment or dormitory).
As an out-of-state resident and student in Louisiana, you may register and vote in the parish of your home residence if you wish to register and vote in this state. You may not be registered to vote in more than one state at any one time.
Deadline to Register to Vote
You must register at least 30 days prior to an election to be able to vote in the election.
You will receive a voter information card by mail when your registration is complete. If you do not receive a voter information card within 30 days of registering, contact your local registrar of voters.
Political Party Choices
Louisiana has five recognized political parties:
You may register as being affiliated with one of the five recognized parties.You may designate “Other” on your voter registration application and write in the name of an unrecognized political party.
Louisiana law provides that no political party shall be recognized in this state which declares its name solely to be “Independent” or “The Independent Party.” You may designate “No Party” if you do not want to register as being affiliated with any political party.
You may change your party affiliation simply by sending your registrar of voters a written note requesting your party change (including signature); by completing another voter registration application; or by visiting www.GeauxVote.com.
General Voter Registration Information
You are required to register where you are an actual bona fide resident. If you reside at more than one place in the state with an intention to reside there indefinitely, you may register and vote at only one residence. If you file a homestead exemption on one residence, you shall register and vote where that residence is located.
You may not be registered in more than one parish or state. When registering to vote, you must supply a street or rural route address. A post office box address or mail center box does not qualify as a residence address. Your elected representatives are determined by your residence address. In order for you to vote on the correct ballot for an election, your registration must have your residence address.
You must notify your parish Registrar of Voters Office of any changes to your voter registration (e.g., name or address). If you move outside the parish, you must register in the new parish. If you move out of state, you must notify your Louisiana parish registrar of voters to cancel your registration before registering in another state.
Vote early at your convenience! Visit your parish Registrar of Voters Office or other designated early voting sites in your parish. The early voting period is 14 days to seven days before each election. No reason is required.
Early voting hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except Sundays and legal holidays. Voters in line at 6 p.m. during each day of the early voting period will be allowed to vote.
Early voting normally runs from Saturday to Saturday (excluding Sunday) starting two weeks before election day. The exception is for federal elections in which early voting is held Tuesday through Tuesday (excluding Sunday) starting two weeks before Election Day.
Election Day Voting
- Tuesday elections: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Saturday elections: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Voters in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
Where to find your polling place for election day voting?
- On your voter information card;
- through the online poll locator at voterportal.sos.la.gov or www.GeauxVote.com;
- on your smartphone by downloading the GeauxVote Mobile app; or
- by calling your local registrar of voters or our toll-free hotline at 800.883.2805.
What to bring on election day to vote?
- A photo identification card. You may use a Louisiana driver’s license, a Louisiana special ID card or other generally recognized picture identification card with your name and signature. You may obtain a free photo ID card at the Office of Motor Vehicles by presenting your voter information card.
- If you do not have a photo ID, you will be required to sign an affidavit and supply further identification information.
Review your sample ballot before voting! You are allowed three minutes to cast your vote or 20 minutes if you are entitled to assistance or use the audio voting keypad.
Voter’s Bill of Rights & Voting Information
THE RIGHT TO VOTE
You have the right to vote in a Louisiana election if you are (1) qualified to vote in this election, (2) qualified to
vote in this precinct and (3) you are the person whose name is on the precinct register.
Qualifications include that you are:
- a U. S. citizen
- registered to vote at least 30 days prior to the election
- a Louisiana resident
- not under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony or not
- 18 years old fully interdicted for mental incompetence, or partially interdicted with suspension of voting rights.
You may cast your ballot:
- By Voting Machine (See, How to Cast Your Ballot)
- By Emergency Paper Ballot, if the only voting machine in the polling place fails. (See, How to CastYour Ballot)
- By Provisional Paper Ballot, in a Federal Election only, if you certifiy that you are eligible to vote in the election and your name does not appear on the precinct register. (See, Voting During FederalElections – Provisional Voting)
- Know which precinct you are registered to vote in, and its location.
- Be prepared to provide photo identification (Louisiana driver’s license, Louisiana special identification card, or other generally recognized picture identification card that contains your name and signature). If you wish to obtain a free Louisiana special identification card, present your voter registration information card to the Office of Motor Vehicles.
- Notify your parish registrar of voters of any changes to your registration.
- To restore your voting rights after a felony conviction, present proof of completion of sentence to your local registrar of voters.
- Do not bring or wear any campaign literature to the polls.
- Be aware of the hours that the polls are open.
- Review the Sample Ballot posted at the polling place in order to timely cast your ballot or review online before election day at www.GeauxVote.com.
- Cast your vote within the three minute time limit; or if receiving assistance or using the audio votingkeypad, within 20 minutes.
- Promptly leave the polling place after voting.
- A campaign-free zone free from solicitation, intimidation, harassment, confusion, obstruction andundue influence, use of violence, force or threats, or action that impedes your entrance or exit to thepolling place.
- Vote privately and independently in an area that is free from any campaign materials.
- Vote in a polling place 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 are visiblydisabled or have in your possession a current mobility-impaired photo identification card bearing theinternational 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 magnifythe face of the voting machine. Inform the commissioners if these items can be of use to you.
- Receive Assistance in casting your ballot or use the audio ballot if you are unable to read or unable tovote without assistance due to a physical disability, including visual impairment. Voters entitled toassistance in voting are allowed up to 20 minutes to cast their ballot and may receive the assistanceof any person of their choice, including a commissioner, however:
- No candidate can assist a voter.
- No commissioner-in-charge can assist a voter.
- No employer or employer’s agent can assist an employee in voting.
- No union agent can assist a union member in voting.
- By rule, Department of Health and Hospitals prohibits staff from assisting residents of state-operated facilities for disabled persons.
The person or commissioner assisting the voter shall sign the precinct register, as the assistant, prior to entering the voting machine with the voter and assisting him in voting. No person assisting a voter shall reveal the name of any person for whom the voter voted, any proposition upon which he voted or anything which took place while the voter was being assisted.
Prior to receiving assistance due to a disability, including visual impairment, the voter is required to file with the registrar, OR present to the commissioner-in-charge at the polling place on election day 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 thephysical disability as proof of disability;
- A copy of a current mobility-impaired photo identification card issued by the 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 office for citizens withdevelopmental 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 Louisiana driver’s license, or his 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 voting rolls and the voter will not be required to present evidence of any kind at the polls.
CASTING YOUR BALLOT
Identity – Each voter is required to identify himself. You must:
- Giving your name and address to a commissioner; and
- Present to the commissioners a Louisiana driver’s license, a Louisiana special identification card or other generally recognized picture identification card that contains your name and signature; or complete an Identification Affidavit if you do not provide a photo ID, which is subject to challenge by law.
Verification of identity on voter rolls – Your name must be found on the precinct register, the supplemental precinct register, or the commissioner may request assistance from the registrar of voters or the secretary of state and allow you to vote after completing a Precinct Register Correction form if there was an error on the precinct register.
Verification of adress on voter rolls – If “Address Conf Req” is on your signature line in the precinct register, you must complete an Address Confirmation Card, in order to verify your address before voting. You are subject to challenge.
If challenged, the commissioners must determine the validity of the challenge before you are allowed to vote. Your right to vote may be challenged on the following grounds:
- You are not qualified to vote in the election;
- You are not qualified to vote in the precinct; or
- You are not the person whose name is shown on the precinct register.
Signature of voter –
Each voter is required to sign his name in ink on the precinct register. The commissioners are to compare your signature on the precinct register to to your signature on the picture identification or Identification Affidavit. If you are unable to sign, you are required to make your mark in ink on the precinct register.
If the commissioner is satisfied that you have identified yourself as the voter named on the precinct register and that you are qualified to vote, the commissioner initials the precinct register opposite your signature or mark and you are then allowed to vote.
HOW TO CAST YOUR BALLOT
In the Voting Machine:
Only one person is allowed to enter a voting machine at a time, unless entitled to assistance or allowing a preteen child to accompany a parent or legal guardian.
In order to cast a vote you must make at least one selection for either a candidate or vote on a proposition election.
Your votes are electronically recorded and you will hear an audible bell sound and the lights will turn off. Part the curtains and exit the voting booth.
Audio Ballot – A machine at each precinct provides an audio ballot. If you choose to use the audio ballot, inform the commissioners. If you do not leave the voting machine promptly after a commissioner has notified you that your time has elapsed, the commissioner is required to have you removed. After voting, you are required to promptly leave the polling place.
By Emergency Election Day Paper Ballot
If a precinct has only one voting machine and it fails on election day, you may vote on a paper ballot until the voting machine is repaired or replaced.
- You will be allowed to cast your vote(s) on a paper ballot and you will receive instructions on how to properly seal your ballot. If you have any questions about your ballot or how to proceed ask the commissioners for help.
- If you make a mistake or “spoil” your ballot, seal the spoiled ballot in the envelope provided, write “spoiled” and ask a commissioner for a new ballot.
- The paper ballots cast at the polling place shall be counted by the parish board of election supervisors on election night.
By Provisional Paper Ballot – (See, Voting During Federal Elections)
STATE LAW PROHIBITIONS: (R.S. 18:1461 et seq)
- 1. Offering, promising, soliciting, or accepting money or anything of present or prospective value to secure or influence a vote.
- 2. Intimidating, deceiving or misinforming, directly or indirectly, any voter or prospective voter in matters concerning voting or nonvoting.
- 3. Voting or attempting to vote more than once at an election.
- 4. Offering money or anything of apparent present or prospective value or use, directly or indirectly, any form of intimidation to influence the action or encourage inaction of any public official with regard to the duties of his office or influence a commissioner or watcher in his decision to serve or not to serve or in the performance of his duties on election day.
- 5. Disobeying any lawful instruction of the commissioners or a law enforcement officer assisting at the polls or without lawful authority, obstructing, hindering or delaying any voter on his way to or while returning home from any polling place where an election is held or impede a voter from enterring or exiting a polling place.
- 6. 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.
- 7. Voting 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.
- 8. Supplying a false answer or statement to an election official or in any document required by the Louisiana Election Code, or executing an affidavit knowing it to contain false or incorrect information.
- 9. Forging the name of another, or using a fictitious name on an affidavit or document required by the Louisiana Election Code.
- 10. 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.
- 11. As a voter, election official, watcher, or person assisting avoter, alow (1) a ballot to be seen, except as provided by law, (2) announce the manner in which a person has cast his ballot, (3) place a distinquishing mark on a ballot with intent to make the ballot identifiable or (4) make a false statement concerning a voter’s ability to mark a ballot without assistance.
- 12. While assisting another person in voting, coerce, compell, or otherwise influence the assisted voter to cast his vote in a certain way or when assisting a voter in voting, fail to mark the ballot or vote in the manner dictated by the voter.
- 13. Signing another voter’s name in the precinct register.
- 14. Attempting to influence an election official or watcher in the performance of his duties.
- 15. Appearing in an intoxicated condition or possesing any beverage of alcoholic content.
- 16. Voting at the polls on Election Day if you have voted early or submitted your absentee by mail ballot.
- 17. Voting if you have moved more than three months ago to an address out of the parish or registered to vote in another parish/state.
- 18. Remaining within any polling place or within a radius of 600 feet of the entrance of any polling place, except when exercising the right to vote, after having been directed by a commissioner of law enforcement officer to leave the premises or area of a polling place.
- 19. 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 a polling place.
FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITIONS: (18 U.S.C. 241 and 42 U.S.C. 1973gg-10)
- 1. 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.
- 2. Knowingly and willfully depriving, defrauding, or attempting to deprive or defraud the residents ofLouisiana 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.
- 3. Conspiring to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in the free exercise or enjoyment of the right to vote or because of his having so exercised the right to vote
VOTING DURING FEDERAL ELECTIONS
(Presidential Preference Primary, U.S. President, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative)
PROVISIONAL VOTING (For Federal Offices Only)
You are allowed to vote a paper provisional ballot for federal offices only when:
- Your name does not appear on the precinct register, supplemental precinct register, or you have not been authorized to vote by the registrar of voters or secretary of state’s office after the commissioner completes a Precinct Register Correction form; and
- You certify on the provisional ballot envelope that you are a registered voter in the parish; and
- You are eligible to vote in the election for federal offices.
You will cast your vote(s) on a paper provisional ballot and you will be given your provisional ballot number with written instructions on when and how to determine whether your vote was counted.
Your provisional ballot will be counted by the parish board of election supervisors if they find:
- you are an eligible voter; and
- you cast your ballot in the parish in which you are registered; and
- you have not voted another ballot for federal offices in the election anywhere in the state.
PROVISIONAL VOTING DURING COURT ORDERED EXTENDED POLL HOURS
If polling hours for a federal election are extended by a court order and you vote during the extended period, you will vote for federal offices only on a provisional ballot.
If you are required to cast a provisional ballot for federal offices pursuant to this section, you will be permitted to cast a ballot on the voting machine for all other state, local or municipal offices, political party offices, propositions, questions and/or constitutional amendments.
Tuesday elections – Polls open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday elections – Polls open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Voters in line at 8:00 p.m. will be allowed to vote
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
Room 7254 – NWB
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20530
To make a complaint under the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, contact:
Voting Rights Division, Department of Justice, Tollfree 1-800-514-0301. (option #7)
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 (8585 Archives Ave.)
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
To report voting fraud, contact the Elections Division tollfree at 1-800-883-2805 or contact the nearest office of the FBI or your local U. S. Attorney’s Office
Voter’s Bill of Rights/Information VBR-IP (Created 12-12) Prepared by Secretary of State Approved by Attorney General 5/21/2013