Louisiana Absentee Ballot Guide

Louisiana Absentee Ballot Guide

Last updated June 16, 2014
Military and Overseas voters should visit the Overseas Vote Foundation. Long Distance Voter's information should only be used by voters with US mailing addresses.

Warning to First-Time Voters in Louisiana:

If you registered to vote by mail, you must vote in person the first time you vote. Exceptions to the first-time rule are:

  • military or overseas citizens;
  • persons in the Senior Citizen or Disability Program;
  • students, who submit a copy of student ID or fee bill with the request;
  • citizens who appear in the registrar of voters office before the election to verify identity; and
  • participants in the state's address confidentiality program.

Important Deadlines

  • Voter Registration Form: Received 30 days before Election Day (unless that falls on a Sunday, in which case it is 29 days before Election Day)
  • Absentee Ballot Application: Received no later than 4:30pm on the 4th day before the election (most voters). Received by 8pm on the day before the election (if hospitalized).
  • Voted Absentee Ballot: Received no later than 4:30pm on the day before the election (most voters). Received by 8:00 p.m. on election day (hospitalized voters).

How to vote by absentee ballot

Register to vote

Recommended: If you have a valid Louisiana state ID card, use Louisiana's online voter registration system.

You can also use our Voter Registration Tool. Enter your information, print and sign the completed form, and mail it to the address printed on the form. 

NOTE: Students may use their home residence address within the state or their school address for voter registration purposes. Out of state students are allowed to use their school address in Louisiana if they want to register to vote in Louisiana.

Verify your voter registration

It's best to verify your voter registration before applying for your absentee ballot.  If there's a problem with your registration, register again before proceeding.

NOTE: Most people receive their voter registration cards in the mail 2-3 weeks after registering to vote. Don't worry if you lost your voter registration card. You don't actually need it to vote.

Make sure you're eligible to vote by absentee ballot

You may may vote by absentee ballot if: 

  • you are a student or teacher located and living outside of your parish of registration, or the spouse/dependent thereof;
  • 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 (view early voting dates);
  • 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 (the books close 30 days prior to an 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 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 (view early voting dates);
  • 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 (view early voting dates);
  • you are incarcerated in an institution inside or outside of your parish of registration and you are not serving time for a felony conviction;
  • you are a program participant in the Department of State's Address Confidentiality Program; or
  • you will be sequestered on the day of the election.

Apply for your absentee ballot

Download and complete the Louisiana Application for an Absentee Ballot.  Mail, fax, or hand-deliver your completed application to your Parish Registrar of Voters.  Once they process it, they'll mail your ballot to you. Be sure to request your ballot before the deadline!

Your request for an absentee ballot will be rejected if:

  • Your request for an absentee ballot was received too early; the earliest a request for an absentee ballot can be accepted is 60 days prior to the election.
  • Your request for an absentee ballot was received too late; the request deadline is four days before election day.
  • If you registered by mail and have not previously voted in the parish where you registered, you must vote in person either during the early voting period or at the precinct on election day.
  • You requested an absentee ballot from a parish or district/precinct where you are not registered to vote.
  • You registered after the voter registration books were closed 30 days prior to election day.
  • Your request for an absentee ballot was incomplete.

If you submit your application by mail, you must also enclose a copy of a photo ID (Lousiana driver’s license, Louisiana special ID card or other photo ID with your name and signature).  If you are a disabled voter you may instead include a special letter listing the names and addresses of two persons residing in your precinct who could make oath, if required, to the fact that you are physically disabled.

Receive, complete and return your absentee ballot

The form itself is pretty straightforward.  Fill it out, seal it, and sign where indicated.  You must also have the ballot signed by a witness or a notary public.  Return your Absentee Ballot to your Parish Registrar of Voters.  Do NOT mail your ballot to the Secretary of State.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to provide ID when I register to vote?

No, but Louisiana requires that photo ID from all voters, in-person and absentee.  Acceptable forms of ID include a Louisiana driver's license, a Louisiana Special ID card, or other generally recognized picture identification card. If you do not have a picture ID card, you may sign an affidavit which will be attached to the precinct register, and you will be required to provide further identification as requested by the Commissioner at the polling place.

Do I need to provide ID when I vote by absentee ballot?

Yes. If you submit your application by mail, you must also enclose a copy of a photo ID (Lousiana driver’s license, Louisiana special ID card or other photo ID with your name and signature).  If you are a disabled voter you may instead include a special letter listing the names and addresses of two persons residing in your precinct who could make oath, if required, to the fact that you are physically disabled.

Can I vote in person before the election?

Yes. Check out our Early Voting page for details.

Additional Information 

State Election Website: http://www.sos.louisiana.gov/tabid/68/Default.aspx
Email: elections@sos.louisiana.gov
Local Election Officials: Your Local Election Official is the best person to contact if you have questions.  They'll be able to provide up-to-date information on rules and deadlines. 

 

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