Voting in Louisiana
Voting in 2014 Primaries
Ballot access for major and minor party candidates
Absentee voting • Early voting
Open Primary • Closed Primary • Blanket Primary
Online voter registration in the 50 states
Louisiana uses a blanket primary system, meaning that all candidates compete in the same primary election, regardless of party affiliation. The two who receive the most votes then advance to the general election. This also means the primary is an open primary, meaning that citizens do not need to register for a specific party to vote in the primary.
To vote in Louisiana, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a United States citizen
- Be at least 17 years old but must be 18 years old prior to next election to vote
- Not be under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony
- Not be under a judgement 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
When and where
Registration must be completed at least 30 days prior to election day. It can be completed electronically or by printing out and mailing in an application. You can also register to vote in person at any Registrar of Voters office or any of the following places:
- Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicle offices
- Louisiana Department of Social Services offices and WIC offices, Food Stamp offices, and Medicaid offices
- Offices serving persons with disabilities, such as the Deaf Action Centers and Independent Living offices
- Armed Forces Recruitment offices
A valid ID card is required to register to vote.
As of August 2014, Louisiana is one of the 15 states that have implemented online voter registration. Residents can register online at this website.
Voting on election day
Electors must present one of the following: a driver's license, a Louisiana special ID, or other generally recognized picture ID that contains your name and signature. If a photo ID is not presented, a utility bill, payroll check or other government document that includes your name and address can be presented. However, such voters would also have to sign an affidavit.
- See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times
- See also: Absentee voting
You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:
- you are in the military, the dependent of military personnel, or an overseas citizen;
- you are 65 years of age or older;
- you are at home or a nursing or veterans' home resident and you have been previously approved for the Disability Program, or you are disabled, homebound or a nursing or veterans' home resident. You must submit one of three kinds of current proof of disability with your application:
- a copy of a mobility impaired identification card issued by the Office of Motor Vehicles;
- a copy of social security disability benefits, veteran’s disability benefits, paratransit services, benefits from the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, or benefits from Louisiana Rehabilitation Services; or
- a physician’s letter certifying your disability (this is required for a new homebound or nursing home application).
- you are a student, instructor, or professor located and living outside of your parish of registration, or the spouse/dependent thereof (if you are a student voting for the first time, you must include a copy of your student ID);
- you are a minister, priest, rabbi, or other member of the clergy assigned outside of your parish of registration, or the spouse/dependent thereof;
- you are or expect to be temporarily outside the territorial limits of the state or absent from your parish of registration during the early voting period and on election day (if you request a ballot to be mailed to an address within the parish, you must indicate the dates you will be temporarily absent from the state/parish);
- you moved your residence to another parish more than 100 miles from the parish seat of your former residence after the voter registration books closed (30 days prior to the election);
- you are involuntarily confined in an institution for mental treatment outside your parish of registration and you are not interdicted and not judicially declared incompetent;
- you expect to be hospitalized on election day and you did not have knowledge until after the time for early voting had expired; or you were hospitalized during the time for early voting and you expect to be hospitalized on election day; or you were either hospitalized or restricted to bed by your physician during early voting and on election day;
- you expect to be out of your precinct of registration and upon the waters of the state both during the early voting period and on election day because of your employment or occupation;
- you are incarcerated in an institution inside or outside of your parish of registration and you are not under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony (you must attach a certification of the sheriff with your application);
- you are a program participant in the Department of State Address Confidentiality Program; or
- you will be sequestered on the day of the election (you must attach a certified copy of the court order of sequestration with your application).
To vote absentee a request must be received no earlier than 60 days prior to the election and no later than four days prior. The ballot must then be returned by 4:30 p.m. on the day before the election. Military personnel, their dependents, U.S. citizens residing outside of the United States and voters who are hospitalized may return an absentee ballot request by 4:30 p.m. the day before the election and submit their ballot by 8 p.m. on election day.
Military and overseas voting
For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.
- See also: Early voting
Louisiana is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 14 days before an election and ends seven days prior to election day. The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, "Vote," accessed January 3, 2014
- Louisiana Secretary of State, "FAQ: Voting on Election Day," accessed June 10, 2014
- Louisiana Secretary of State Website, "Vote by Mail," accessed December 19, 2013
- Louisiana Secretary of State Website, "Early Voting, In Person," accessed December 19, 2013