En español | Louisiana’s Nov. 8 primaries will determine which candidates appear on December’s general election ballot for U.S. House and Senate, state Supreme Court and other state offices. Primaries are unique in Louisiana in that all candidates regardless of party will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot, and one can win the election outright by a majority vote. If no one wins a majority, the top two candidates for a particular seat advance to the Dec. 10 general election.
Redistricting has changed certain boundaries of the state’s U.S. congressional districts. These changes may affect which candidates appear on your ballot.
A special election to fill the District 5 state Senate seat of Karen Carter Peterson, who resigned in early April, will coincide with the Nov. 8 primary. If necessary, a runoff will be held Dec. 10. District 5 includes parts of Orleans and Jefferson parishes.
No. Louisiana has an open primary system, so all eligible voters can cast a ballot regardless of party affiliation. All candidates appear on the 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 primary by a majority vote, that race will not appear on the general election ballot.
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. A full list of approved reasons is on the secretary of state’s website.
Request an absentee ballot online, by mail or in person:
Separate disabled application forms 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 also apply to automatically receive ballots for all future elections. And if you live in a nursing home, you can apply to participate in a special early voting program held one week before the election.
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 also 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 and return it by mail or in person.
Yes. Any voter who wants to vote early may do so in person at their designated parish location from Oct. 25 through Nov. 1 for the primaries and Nov. 26 through Dec. 3 for the general. Early voting is closed on Sundays.
Log in to the state’s voter portal to find a detailed list of early voting locations in your parish.
The primary election is Tuesday, Nov. 8; the general election is Saturday, Dec. 10. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the primaries and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the general.
You may cast a ballot as long as you were in line before the polls closed.
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. If you do not have an ID, you can sign an affidavit after answering questions to verify your identity.
Editor’s note: This guide was updated on June 29 with information about the primary and general elections in Louisiana. The guide was first published on Aug. 5, 2020.
This story is provided by AARP Louisiana. Visit the AARP Louisiana page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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