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AARP AARP States Louisiana Voters

How to Vote in Louisiana’s 2023 Election

Runoff Election Held For Louisiana Governor
A voter walks into a polling location in Quitman.

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Essential info:

  • Key dates: The general election is on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023.
  • Key races: The general election includes races for secretary of state, attorney general and treasurer.
  • Absentee voting: All registered voters 65 and older, as well as others with an eligible excuse, can vote absentee by mail. You’ll need to apply to do so — and you’ll need a witness signature on your ballot.
  • Voting at the polls: Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Bring an acceptable photo ID, such as a Louisiana driver’s license.

How are Louisiana’s elections different from those in other states?

Louisiana has an open primary system, so all eligible voters can cast a ballot, regardless of party affiliation. All candidates appear on the primary ballot and can win the election outright if they earn 50 percent plus one vote. If no one wins a majority, the top two candidates advance to the general election.

If a candidate wins the primaries by a majority vote, that race will not appear on the general election ballot.

The 2023 general election is Saturday, Nov. 18, and includes runoffs for secretary of state, attorney general and treasurer.

When are polls open?

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You may cast a ballot as long as you were in line before 8 p.m.

More information about candidates is available at the secretary of state’s website.

Have there been any recent changes to voting in Louisiana?

Redistricting in 2022 has changed certain boundaries of the state’s U.S. congressional districts. Note that lawsuits over the redrawn districts are pending.

How do I register to vote?

The deadline to register for the 2023 general election has passed. Register to vote in the 2024 elections online, by mail or in person.

  • Online: Use the state’s GeauxVote registration system to register or update your information. You will need the four-digit audit code on your Louisiana driver’s license or state special ID card to submit your application.

  • In person: Go to any registrar of voters office and fill out a voter registration form. Bring a driver's license, Social Security card, birth certificate or other form of ID that proves your name, age and residency. Or register in person at the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles or other state agencies.  

How can I get an absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Anyone 65 or older can vote absentee by mail. Others can vote absentee for approved reasons, such as a disability or being out of town during the voting period.

Request an absentee ballot online, by mail or in person:

  • Online: Log in to the state’s voter portal, click the “request absentee ballot” link under quick links and complete the requested information.
  • In person: Print and complete an application form, then hand-deliver it to your parish registrar of voters. You may also have an immediate family member deliver it for you, but that person may need to fill out additional paperwork.

Applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14. Requests received after the deadline will not be accepted.

Separate disabled application and military or overseas application forms are also available. The disabled form requires proof of a disability, such as a doctor’s letter, a copy of your mobility impaired ID card issued by the motor vehicles office, or a copy of your Social Security disability benefits.

If you’re 65 or older, or have a disability, you can apply to automatically receive ballots for all future elections. If you live in a nursing home, you can apply to participate in a special early voting program held one week before early voting starts. Find more information at the secretary of state’s website.

How do I return my completed ballot?

Place your completed ballot in the smaller ballot affidavit envelope and seal it. Fill out and sign the affidavit flap, which must be attached to the ballot envelope. You’ll need a witness to sign, and if you received assistance, the person who helped you must sign as well.

Place your completed ballot affidavit envelope in the larger pre-addressed return envelope. Return your ballot by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17 for the general election.

  • By mail: Mail your completed ballot with proper postage to your parish registrar of voters.
  • In person: Hand-deliver your ballot to your parish registrar of voters. You may have an immediate family member deliver it for you, but that person will need to sign a statement certifying their relationship to you.

Watch a video explainer on the secretary of state’s YouTube channel. Track your absentee ballot through the state’s voter information portal.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Vote early at your designated parish location through Saturday, Nov. 11. Early voting is closed on Sundays and on Friday, Nov. 10 for Veterans Day.

Do I need identification to vote?

You must show an acceptable photo ID such as a Louisiana driver’s license, Louisiana special identification card or U.S. military ID. Voters also may show a digital copy of their license using the app LA Wallet. Registered voters without an ID can sign an affidavit with information to verify their identity.

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, with more information about voting in Louisiana. The guide was first published on Aug. 5, 2020.

Also of Interest:

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