2022 midterms in Louisiana: See deadlines, what's on the ballot, more
Early voting begins Tuesday, just two weeks before Election Day. Key races include all six congressional seats, a competitive state senate race in New Orleans and a U.S. Senate contest featuring a number of challengers vying to replace incumbent Republican Senator John Kennedy. And there are eight proposed statewide amendments that voters will be able to weigh in on.
Here’s a rundown of information ahead of November’s midterm elections:
Dates to know
October 25-November 1: Early voting begins in Louisiana.
November 4: Deadline to request an absentee ballot
November 7: Deadline to receive a mail-in ballot
November 8: Election Day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Louisiana’s seven-day early voting period begins Tuesday, Oct. 25, and runs through Nov. 1. Early polling places will be closed on Sunday, Oct. 30.
Early in-person voting is typically limited to a handful of locations in each parish, some of which will only be open on select days and hours when demand is expected to be highest. A full list of early voting locations can be found here.
The Secretary of State encourages voters to check their early voting locations’ hours through the state’s online voter portal.
Voters who wait until election day will vote in their home precinct’s polling location, which can also be found through the online voter portal.
Polling places are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day. And anyone who is in line before the polling place closes will be able to vote after hours.
Voting by mail
Absentee-by-mail voting has already begun. In Louisiana, you must offer at least one explanation for voting by mail. Age is the broadest qualification to vote by mail — anyone over the age of 65 can apply to automatically receive a mail-in ballot for every election — but voters can also request an absentee ballot if they work offshore, attend a university outside their home parish, serve in the U.S. military abroad, or if they simply expect that they’ll be out of their home parish on election day.
The deadline for eligible voters to request an absentee ballot online or from their parish registrar is Nov. 4 at 4:30.
Mail-in ballots must be received by the voters’ parish registrar by 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, the day before election day. A Nov. 7 postmark won’t cut it. The Secretary of State has not issued any recommendations for when voters should mail their ballots to meet that deadline this year, but when COVID policies vastly expanded vote-by-mail eligibility in 2020 the office recommended mailing ballots at least seven days before the deadline.
Ballots can also be delivered by hand by the voter or an immediate family member or can be submitted by fax upon request from the parish registrar.
What's on the ballot?
Every voter in the state will have a U.S. Senate seat and eight Constitutional Amendments on the ballot. Republican Incumbent Senator John Kennedy faces a crowded field of challengers led by Democrats Luke Mixon, Gary Chambers and Syrita Steib. Most voters will also have a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives on the ballot — except those in the 4th Congressional District where Rep. Mike Johnson secured his fourth term back in July when no other candidates qualified to run against him.
And more than half of Louisiana parishes will have municipal or parish-wide propositions on their ballots, including East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette and Orleans.
There are also two special elections to fill seats in the state Senate. Democratic state representatives Royce Duplessis and Mandie Landry are vying to replace long-time state senator Karen Carter Peterson in the New Orleans-based 5th district. Peterson resigned her seat in April and pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud charges Aug. 1. State Rep. Jeremy Lacombe (D-Livonia) faces off against two Republicans, West Baton Rouge Parish Councilman Caleb Kleinpeter and physician Kirk Rousset, in the race to replace Sen Rick Ward (R-Port Allen), who retired earlier this year.
Voters in the state’s 3rd Public Service Commission District, which stretches from New Orleans, through the River Parishes and into portions of East Baton Rouge Parish, will weigh in on an uncharacteristically contentious race for the state’s utility regulating board. Incumbent Commissioner Lambert Boissiere III has raked in campaign contributions from industry donors but faces several challengers and attack ads bankrolled by an Environmental Defense Fund-affiliated super PAC.
Look up your sample ballot here.
What about the constitutional amendments?
Whether casting their ballots in person or by mail, Louisiana voters will be met with a long list of proposed constitutional amendments. State lawmakers have asked voters to consider a total of 11 proposed amendments this election cycle — so many that election officials requested that they be split between the Nov. 8 primary and Dec. 10 general election.
The first batch of eight proposed amendments will ask voters to weigh in on provisions of the state constitution that, among other things, deal with certain tax breaks for veterans and people with disabilities, limit how the state invests the money in its various trust funds, and prohibit and limit the use of slavery and involuntary servitude in the state.
On Dec. 10, voters will be asked to consider three more proposed amendments that would prohibit voting for people who are not U.S. citizens and would require Senate confirmation for the governor’s State Civil Service Commission and the State Police Commission.