Editor’s note: This story has been updated from the print publication to reflect an expansion of early voting that was announced after the October issue went to press.
The November election is just a few weeks away—so now’s the time to make sure your voter information is updated and you are ready to cast a ballot in some of the most important elections of our time.
What you need to vote in person
A valid photo ID. That can be: a Louisiana driver’s license, a Louisiana special ID card (obtained for free at the Office of Motor Vehicles by showing your voter information card), a Louisiana Wallet digital driver’s license, or any other picture ID card that contains your name and signature. If you do not have a form of ID, you can still vote in person by signature on a voter affidavit, which will be later verified by an election official.
Voting by mail
Louisiana requires an approved reason for voting by mail, such as temporarily being out of state or overseas, or being 65 or older. Your application must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on the fourth day before the election. Once approved, the completed ballot must be received by 4:30 p.m. the day before the election. It’s a complicated process, so apply as early as possible if you know you can’t be present to vote in person (there is no start date to apply).
Any resident can vote early in person without reason. Early voting for the Nov. 3 election is Oct. 16-27 (excluding Sunday, Oct. 18 and Sunday, Oct. 25), 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Check with the Secretary of State’s website for voting locations, as they tend to be different from Election Day voting locations.
If registering online to vote, make sure to do so at least 20 days prior to the election. If registering by mail, your envelope must be postmarked 30 days prior to the election.
Election Day info
Polls will be open 6 a.m.-8 p.m. on Election Day. “If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay in line—you have the right to vote,” according to the ACLU.
What’s on the ballot
Besides the presidential race and our mayor race, here are some other items you’ll see on the ballot Nov. 3.
Voters will select a Metro Council member for all 12 districts except for District 3, where Republican Rowdy Gaudet ran unopposed.
Republican Senator Bill Cassidy faces 14 challengers for his reelection, including Democratic Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, who is regarded as a top challenger.
All six Louisiana delegates of the U.S. House of Representatives are up for grabs. In the Capital Region, incumbent Democrat Cedric Richmond of District 2 faces five challengers, and incumbent Republican Garret Graves of District 6 faces three challengers.
There are seven amendments requiring a “yes” or “no” vote. Among them is an amendment concerning abortion rights as allowed by the state constitution. Others deal with property taxes, homestead exemptions and the use of funds for disasters.
Find out more
Get the latest election updates as well as detailed information for your voting precinct at the Secretary of State’s website, sos.la.gov.
This article was originally published in the October 2020 issue of 225 Magazine.