How to vote in Louisiana

How to vote in Louisiana
Make your voice heard by registering to vote. (Source: WVIR)

BATON ROUGE, La. - You want to make your voice heard but before you can get your “I Voted” sticker, make sure you’re registered.

Registering to vote is FREE and is a right afforded to you as a United States citizen. Any attempts to collect a fee related to registering to vote should be considered a scam and should be reported to local law enforcement.

To find out if you are registered to vote, CLICK HERE.

Information below is provided by the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office

HOW DO I REGISTER TO VOTE?

To register, you can do so online or in person at any Registrar of Voters Office or the following locations:

  • Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles;
  • Public assistance offices and agencies that administer or provide services under the food stamp program, Medicaid program, the Supplemental Food for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) and the Child Case Assistance Program (CCAP);
  • offices that provide state-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities;
  • armed forces recruitment offices; and
  • other offices dedicated by rule, which may include public libraries, public schools and local government offices.

Apply by mail by downloading the Louisiana Voter Registration Application, completing it and returning it to your local registrar of voters office. Please note that the list of offices for registrars is included on the form. You may also get the mailing address from this list of Registrar of Voters Office.

Faxed voter registration forms are not accepted. The voter registration form should be addressed and mailed or hand-delivered to the appropriate registrar of voters in the parish in which you are registering. You must be registered at least 20 days prior to an election if registering through our GeauxVote Online Registration System with a Louisiana driver’s license or Louisiana special ID card or 30 days prior to an election if registering in person or by mail to be eligible to vote in that particular election. Do not mail or otherwise send voter registration forms to the secretary of state elections division. Deadlines requiring receipt in the registrar of voters office may be missed. (If mailing in an application, the application or envelope must be postmarked 30 days prior to the first election in which you seek to vote.)

You must re-register when you move to a new parish and if you move out of state, you must cancel your voter registration before registering in your new state by writing or calling your registrar of voters in Louisiana.

HOW DO I QUALIFY TO REGISTER TO VOTE?

You must:

  • be a U.S. citizen;
  • be 17 years old (16 years old if registering in person at the registrar of voters office or at the Louisiana Office of Moter Vehicles), but must be 18 years old to vote; 
  • not be under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony;
  • not be 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;
  • must be registered at least 20 days prior to an election if registering through our GeauxVote Online Registration System with a Louisiana driver’s license or Louisiana special ID card or 30 days prior to an election if registering in person or by mail to be eligible to vote in that particular election. (If mailing in an application, the application or envelope must be postmarked 30 days prior to the first election in which you seek to vote.)

HOW DO I GET A COPY OF MY VOTER INFORMATION CARD?

You may print your own voter information card by accessing the secretary of state’s voter portal. Once the portal is open, select the search ‘By Voter’ tab, enter your information and click ‘Search’. Next, select the ‘Voter Registration’ tab and then the ‘Print Voter Information’ link.You may also contact your parish Registrar of Voters Office to request a duplicate voter information card. 

DO I HAVE TO REGISTER PRIOR TO EACH ELECTION?

No, once you are registered in your parish, you will remain registered as an active voter in your parish unless you move. If you move, update your address with your registrar of voters online, by mail or in person.  

Annually the registrar conducts a canvass by submitting your residence address to the U.S. Postal Service for verification.  If your residence address has changed, you will be mailed an Address Confirmation Card.  If you do not return the address confirmation card, you will be placed on inactive status. You can activate your status by updating your residence address online, by mail or in person either on Election Day before voting or at the Registrar of Voters Office.

If you do not update your address and do not vote for a two year period which includes two federal general elections, you may be canceled.

MOVED TO ANOTHER PARISH IN LOUISIANA, DO I HAVE TO REGISTER AGAIN?

Yes, voter registration is not transferable unless you receive an Address Confirmation Card from your registrar of voters during the annual canvass and you complete and return it with your signature requesting to transfer your registration to your new parish.

Louisiana law allows you to vote in your old parish for 3 months or until you register in your new parish, whichever occurs first.  You can register onlinein person or by mail.

FELONS, HOW TO REINSTATE VOTER REGISTRATION AFTER A CONVICTION?

A person convicted of a felony and under an order of imprisonment may restore their voting rights upon completion of probation and parole or, if on probation or parole, not have been incarcerated pursuant to the order within the last five years and not be under an order of imprisonment related to a felony conviction for election fraud or any other election offense pursuant to La. R.S. 18:1461.2.

To restore your voting rights after a felony conviction, you must appear in person at the registrar of voters office, complete a voter registration application and provide documentation to prove that you have completed your probation and/or parole or that you have not been incarcerated within the last five years and are not under an order of imprisonment related to a felony conviction for election fraud or any other election offense pursuant to La. R.S. 18:1461.2. If you are disabled and homebound, you may submit your application and documentation by mail, facsimile, commercial carrier or hand delivery. 

DEADLINE TO REGISTER TO VOTE BEFORE AN ELECTION?

Louisiana statute requires you to be registered at least 20 days prior to an election if registering through our GeauxVote Online Registration System with a Louisiana driver’s license or Louisiana special ID card or 30 days prior to an election if registering in person or by mail to be eligible to vote in that particular election. However, if the deadline falls on a legal holiday, the registrar will close the registration records on the first day after such holiday which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or other legal holiday. (If mailing in an application, the application or envelope must be postmarked 30 days prior to the first election in which you seek to vote.)

CLICK HERE for more voter resources