When you cast your ballot, you will contribute to the centuries-old struggle for justice and equality in the U.S. and push forward for representation and policy that reflects your needs and interests. Through the “Our Future, Our Vote” initiative, the Southern Poverty Law Center is committed to ensuring you can do so.
This voting guide for the state of Louisiana includes information on how to manage changes to state law and provides resources for more help if you need it.
In this Guide
- Key Dates
- Before Election Day
- Election Day
- Voting If You Have Been Impacted by the Justice System
- Know Your Rights
What are the key voting dates and deadlines for the Nov. 8 midterm elections?
- Voter Registration Deadline:
- By mail: must be postmarked by Oct. 11, 2022
- In-person registration: Oct. 11, 2022
- Online registration: Oct. 18, 2022
Before Election Day
Who can register to vote?
Every U.S. citizen with the following qualification is eligible to register to vote in Louisiana:
- Be 17 years old (16 years old if registering in person at the Registrar of Voters Office or at the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles), but must be 18 years old to vote.
- Reside in the state and parish in which you seek to register.
- Not be under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony or, if under such an order 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 R.S. 18:1461.2.
- Not be under a judgment of full interdiction for mental incompetence or partial interdiction with suspension of voting rights.
How do I register to vote?
For the Nov. 8 general election, you have to register to vote in-person or by mail by Tuesday, Oct. 11, or by Tuesday, Oct. 18, if you register online.
You must be registered at least 20 days before an election if registering through the GeauxVote Online Registration System with a Louisiana driver's license or Louisiana special ID card or 30 days before 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 before the first election in which you seek to vote.
You can register in person or by mail.
- You can register to vote in person at any of the following locations:
- 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 can register by mail using this form
- You can also use the National Mail Voter Registration Form
- You can register online
How do I check my registration or update it if I moved?
You can check your registration online.
You can update your registration online.
Can I vote early?
Louisiana does offer a regular in-person early voting period. Voters who want to vote early for any election may do so in person at designated locations in their parish from 14 to seven days prior to any scheduled election. When one or more state holidays fall within an early voting period, the first day for early voting will begin 15 days prior to the election. More information.
For Nov 8 general election, early voting is Oct. 25 to Nov. 1 (excluding Sunday, Oct. 30) from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
You may also qualify for absentee voting where you could vote before Election Day in some limited circumstances. See below.
Can I vote absentee?
Louisiana requires an excuse to vote by absentee ballot. If you qualify, absentee voting is available either in person or via mail.
When do I vote?
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022. Anyone standing in line at 8 p.m. has the right to stay to vote.
Where do I vote?
You can check your polling place online. Polling locations can change so you may want to verify before leaving the house.
Don’t forget your photo ID!
All Louisiana voters casting a ballot in person at the polls must present one of the following forms of acceptable photo ID:
- Driver's license.
- Louisiana Special ID.
- LA Wallet digital driver's license.
- a United States military identification card that contains your name and picture.
- some other generally recognized picture ID that contains your name and signature.
If you do not have a driver's license, Louisiana Special ID, a United States military identification card that contains your name and picture or some other generally recognized picture ID that contains your name and signature, you may still cast your vote by signature on a voter affidavit.
You may get a free Louisiana Special ID at the Office of Motor Vehicles by showing your voter information card. If you have misplaced your voter information card, contact your registrar of voters for a new one or print your own by logging into the Louisiana Voter Portal through the "Search by Voter" option. Click the "Print Voter Registration Card" link in the second column of the Quick Links.
When should I use a provisional ballot?
You have the right to cast a provisional ballot if you are in the parish where you are registered to vote and you are voting at the wrong precinct, or if you are in a precinct that is not in the parish where you are registered to vote. In both cases, you may only vote for federal offices. The poll worker should offer you the opportunity to vote by provisional ballot, but, if they do not, you have a legal right to request one. The Help America Vote Act, a federal law, guarantees all voters the right to vote by provisional ballot. Before completing your provisional ballot, be sure to verify that you are in the correct polling place, even if you are not listed on the rolls.
Voting If You Have Been Impacted by the Justice System
Can I vote from jail?
Yes. Louisiana voters not under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony may only vote absentee by mail after certification to the appropriate registrar by the sheriff of the parish where the person is incarcerated that he is not a convicted felon.
Can I vote if I am a returning citizen?
If you are a returning citizen (i.e., person previously incarcerated), you may restore your 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.
Know Your Rights
What if I would like assistance to vote?
All polling places must be accessible to elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities. In federal elections, each polling place must have an accessible voting system that allows people with disabilities to vote privately and independently, using assistive technology or equipment.
In addition, according to Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, “Any voter who requires assistance to vote by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer or agent of that employer or officer or agent of the voter's union.” This federal law applies to all elections in all states and supersedes any state law. No proof of disability, illiteracy or limited English proficiency is required.
Specifically per Louisiana state law, voters who require assistance marking the ballot because of a disability, including being visually impaired, or the inability to read are entitled to receive assistance from a person of the voter’s choice, excluding a candidate in the election, an employer or employer's agent, a union agent cannot assist a union member, commissioner-in-charge, and staff for a state residential facility.
Can I assist other voters?
Yes, unless you are one of the following:
- Candidate in the election.
- Employer or employer's agent.
- Union agent.
- Staff for a state residential facility.
Are voting materials available in languages other than English?
Louisiana is not currently required by federal law to provide voting material in languages other than English. But if you need assistance in voting because you have trouble reading or writing in English, you may receive assistance from a person of your choice. (See “What if I would like assistance to vote?” above.)
What if I witness or experience voter intimidation?
Voter intimidation is conduct intended to compel prospective voters to vote against their preferences, or to not vote at all, through activity that is reasonably calculated to instill fear.
Federal law expressly prohibits voter intimidation. The following conduct near polling places is likely illegal voter intimidation:
- Violent behavior or verbal threats inside or outside the polling place.
Confronting voters while wearing military-style or official-looking uniforms.
- Disrupting voting lines or blocking the entrance to the polling place.
following voters to, from, or within the polling place.
- Spreading false information about voter fraud, voting requirements, or related criminal penalties.
- Aggressively approaching voters’ vehicles or writing down voters’ license plate numbers.
- Harassing voters, including aggressively questioning them about their qualifications to vote.
If you see or experience voter intimidation, you should notify the poll workers at the affected polling place; document what happened and whether any voters were deterred from voting; and call Election Protection hotlines listed below.
You may call the Election Protection hotlines:
- 866-OUR-VOTE (English)
- 888-VE-Y-VOTA (Spanish/ English)
- 888-API-VOTE (Asian languages/ English)
- 844-YALLA-US (Arabic/ English)
What if I have further questions or experience any problems while trying to vote?
To find more voting information, visit GeauxVote.
Tell Us Your Voting Story
We want to hear what you experienced with registering, verifying or changing your information, absentee ballots, voting, or any other situation you’ve encountered while trying to participate in your local, state, or federal elections. Share your story:
Illustrations by Elias Stein