Louisiana’s emergency election plan approved

Louisiana's emergency election plan approved

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana’s emergency election plan was approved Monday, April 27.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin released the following statement following the plan’s approval:

“This is a great result for Louisiana’s voters and election workers, especially those most susceptible to the COVID-19 virus. I want to thank President Cortez, Speaker Schexnayder, Chairwoman Hewitt, and Chairman Dwight as well as the Attorney General and the Governor for the strong partnership in developing this emergency election plan. Our plan serves as a pragmatic and temporary response to the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging our nation. I am grateful the legislature has approved this plan, which will have immediate and positive outcomes for Louisiana voters and residents.”

The plan lays out certain provisions for the state’s upcoming elections in July and August. The plan was first proposed by Ardoin April 22.

Changes include things like relocating some polling places to help cut down on the number of people present at one location in order to vote, expanding the time frame for early voting, and expanding acceptable reasons for people to request an absentee ballot.

ABSENTEE BALLOTS

The deadlines to request an absentee ballot for the July 11 election are:

  • July 7 (four days before the election) for all voters except military, overseas, and hospitalized voters
  • July 10 (day before the election) for military, overseas, and hospitalized voters

The deadlines to request an absentee ballot for the Aug. 15 election are:

  • Aug. 11 (four days before the election) for all voters except military, overseas, and hospitalized voters
  • Aug. 14 (day before the election) for military, overseas, and hospitalized voters

This emergency plan will expand the reasons to request an absentee ballot to registered voters who are affected by COVID-19 and are:

  • At higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to serious underlying medical conditions as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (including chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, diabetes, severe obesity (BMI of 40 or higher), chronic kidney disease and undergoing dialysis, liver disease, pregnancy, or immunocompromised due to cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications)
  • Subject to a medically necessary quarantine or isolation order as a result of COVID-19
  • Advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns
  • Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis
  • Caring for an identified individual who is subject to a medically necessary quarantine or isolation order as a result of COVID-19 or who has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns

EARLY VOTING

  • Early voting for the July 11 election is currently scheduled for June 26 through July 4 (excluding Sunday, June 28 and Friday, July 3). Early voting for the Aug. 15 election is currently scheduled for Aug. 1 through 8 (excluding Sunday, Aug. 2).

Louisiana’s presidential primary is currently scheduled for July 11 after being pushed back twice due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Municipal general elections are currently scheduled for Aug. 15.

Click here to read the full plan, which includes information about which polling places are moving, how those in nursing homes should vote, and what qualifications are necessary for absentee voting under the new changes.

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