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Reports on Louisiana politics, government and the people shaping state policy

Want to vote in Louisiana's primary? Register by Wednesday

If you want to register to vote in person or by mail for the Oct. 14 primary, you’ll have to do it by this Wednesday, Sept. 13.
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If you want to register to vote in person or by mail for the Oct. 14 primary, you’ll have to do it by this Wednesday, Sept. 13.

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s primary elections are a little over a month away — on Saturday, Oct. 14 — and the general election in Louisiana isn’t until Nov. 18. But the first voter registration deadline of this election cycle is approaching quickly.

If you want to register to vote in person or by mail for the Oct. 14 primary, you’ll have to do it by this Wednesday, Sept. 13.

Louisianans can also register to vote online — the deadline to do that for the primary isn’t until Sept. 23 — but you’ll need a Louisiana driver's license or special ID to do so. If you don’t have either of those forms of identification and you still want to vote in the primary, you’ll have to register in person or by mail, and provide some other proof of residency.

Registering to vote is free — and it’s a quick process. Here’s a guide to help you decide how, when and where to do it.

When are this year's voter registration deadlines?

To register to vote in the primary election, on Oct. 14:

  • Sept. 13 — Deadline to register to vote in person or by mail
  • Sept. 23 — Deadline to register to vote online

To register to vote in the general election, on Nov. 14:

  • Oct. 18 — Deadline to register to vote in person or by mail
  • Oct. 28 — Deadline to register to vote online

Where can I register to vote?

Online: Louisianans can register to vote or update their voter registration online through the voter portal on the Secretary of State’s website — or by visiting geauxvote.com.

In person: If you’re planning to register in person, you can do so at your respective Registrar of Voters Office. Other places to register in person include any Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles location and Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services offices.

For a full list of places where you can register, click here.

By mail: You can download the Louisiana Voter Registration Application, print it and fill it out if you plan to register by mail.

The application must be hand-delivered or mailed to the appropriate registrar’s office by the registration deadline. As long as your application is postmarked by the due date, the Secretary of State’s office says you’ve made the deadline.

How can I check my registration status?

Voters can use the Secretary of State’s voter portal to check on their registration status — and preview sample ballots and find their polling locations.

Once you register to vote in Louisiana, you’re registered for life — as long as you continue to vote and keep your address updated. If you have changed addresses within the state, you will need to update your registration.

Who is eligible to vote in Louisiana?

Louisianans must meet several criteria to be eligible to vote in the state:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must be at least 18 years old on Election Day, but can register if you are at least 17 — and, in certain cases, you can register if you are at least 16 years old.
  • You must live in the parish where you are registering and will be voting.
  • You must register by the deadline for the election you want to vote in.
  • You must not, according to the Secretary of State's office, 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 La. R.S. 18:1461.2."
  • You must not have had your voting rights suspended.

When you register, you’ll need your Louisiana driver’s license, special ID card or some other form of proof of identification.

When does early voting happen?

Louisiana has a one-week early voting period before both the primary and general elections this year.

You don’t need to state a reason for voting early — any registered voter can opt to cast a ballot early. The state has several designated early voting locations that will be in operation throughout the early voting period.

You can find out which early voting location you’ve been assigned to by visiting the Voter Portal.

There are two early voting periods in Louisiana this year:

  • Early voting period for Oct. 14 primary: Sept. 30 through Oct. 7. You can vote early on any of those days between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., except on Sunday, Oct. 1. 
  • Early voting period for Nov. 18 general election: Nov. 3 through Nov. 11. You can vote early on any of those days between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., with the exception of Sunday, Nov. 5 and Friday, Nov. 10 (Veterans Day). 

For more information on voter registration and voting in Louisiana, visit the Secretary of State's website.

Molly Ryan is a political reporter and covers state politics from the Louisiana Capitol.