What to know before you head to the polls

What to know before you head to the polls
voting generic (Source: WIS)

(KSLA) - The next election day in Louisiana is Saturday, March 20. Here’s what you need to know before you head to the polls to vote. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you want to know what’s on the ballot in your parish, click here.

Absentee Voting

In the State of Louisiana, you must meet a certain qualification in order to vote absentee by mail. These reasons can include:

  • Senior citizen (age 65 or older)
  • Temporarily absent (temporarily outside of Louisiana or you parish)
  • Offshore (working offshore on election day)
  • Nursing home resident
  • College student or professor outside of your parish
  • Clergy
  • Moved out of parish less than 30 days before election
  • Involuntary Confinement
  • Hospitalized
  • Incarcerated
  • Address Confidentiality Program
  • Juror on election day
  • Physically Disabled
  • Homebound

Absentee ballots can be requested online here or in writing through the Registrar of Voters Office.

The deadline to request an absentee by mail ballot is March 16 by 4:30 p.m. Ballots must be received by the Registrar of Voters Office by March 19 by 4:30 p.m.

In-Person Voting

You will need to bring your driver’s license, ID, or other type of identification card with a name and signature. On March 20, you must vote at your designated polling location. You can find your designated location here or call your Registrar of Voters Office.

Early Voting

Early voting for this election will start on Saturday, March 6, and end on Saturday, March 13. No voting will take place on Sunday, March 7. Early voting locations will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You do not need a reason to early vote. Any registered voter can early vote at the early voting locations in their parish.

  • Bienville: Bienville Parish Courthouse
  • Bossier: Bossier Parish Courthouse or Bossier Parish Library History Center
  • Caddo: 525 Marshall, Suite 103
  • Claiborne: Claiborne Parish Police Jury
  • DeSoto: 104 Crosby Street or DeSoto Parish Governmental Plaza
  • Lincoln: Lincoln Parish Courthouse
  • Natchitoches: Natchitoches Parish Courthouse
  • Red River: Red River Parish Courthouse
  • Sabine: Sabine Parish Courthouse
  • Webster: Webster Parish Courthouse or Springhill Civic Center

Voter Registration

If you are not registered to vote, but you meet the following criteria:

  • Are a U.S. citizen
  • At least age 16 (You must be 18 to actually vote)
  • Not been convicted of a felony
  • Not under a judgment of full interdiction for mental incompetence or partial interdiction with suspension of voting rights
  • Live in Louisiana

Then here’s how you can register:

Online

To register to vote online, you will need to access the GeauxVote Online Registration System. You will need to have your driver’s license or ID card in hand to complete this process. A Louisiana Mobility impaired card is not an acceptable form of ID for this.

You will not be able to complete this process between 1-4 a.m. due to scheduled maintenance on the site.

You can also fill out the application online and print it or mail it in instead of submitting it online.

The deadline to register to vote online is Feb. 27.

In-Person

To register to vote in person, you can visit a variety of locations.

  • Registrar of Voters Officer
  • Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles
  • Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services
  • WIC offices
  • Food stamp offices
  • Medicaid offices
  • Offices serving persons with disabilities such as the Deaf Action Centers and Independent Living Offices
  • Armed Forces recruitment offices

You will need to bring your driver’s license or your birth certificate or other documentation that can provide your identity, age and residency.

The deadline to register to vote in person is Feb. 17

By Mail

If you are registering by mail, you can download the Louisiana Voter Registration Application. Once it is completed, you will need to mail it to your local Registrar of Voters Office.

Or you can register using the National Mail Voter Registration Form.

Voter registration forms are not accepted if they are faxed.

The deadline to register to vote by mail is Feb. 17

If you are unsure if you are registered to vote, you can find out here.

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