How to Vote in Louisiana’s 2022 Elections

Posted on 06/29/22 by Natalie Missakian, Elissa Chudwin

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.

What's new this year?

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.

Essential info:

  • Absentee voting: All registered voters 65 and older, as well as others with an eligible excuse, can vote absentee by mail in the November primaries and December general election. You’ll need to apply to do so — and you’ll need a witness signature on your ballot.
  • Early in-person voting: You can vote early and in person at designated locations in your parish from Oct. 25 through Nov. 1 for the primaries and Nov. 26 through Dec. 3 for the general election.
  • In-person voting on Election Day: The state’s 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 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the general election.
Runoff Election Held For Louisiana Governor


How do I register to vote?

  • Online: Use the state’s GeauxVote online registration system to register or update your information by Oct. 18 for the primaries and by Nov. 19 for the general election. You'll need the four-digit audit code on your Louisiana driver’s license or state special ID card to submit your application. 
  • By mail: Download and print an application from the secretary of state’s website. Mail your completed application to your local registrar of voters office. Or call your parish registrar of voters or the secretary of state’s office at 1-800-883-2805 to request that a form be mailed to you. Your application must be postmarked by Oct. 11 for the primaries and by Nov. 9 for the general election.
  •  In person: Go to any registrar of voters office and fill out a voter registration form by Oct. 11 for the primaries and by Nov. 9 for the general election. You’ll need to bring a driver's license or other form of ID that proves your name, age and residency. A full list of acceptable IDs is on the secretary of state’s website. Or register in person at the state office of motor vehicles or other state agencies. 


Does my party affiliation matter when I vote in the primaries?

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. 

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. A full list of approved reasons is on the secretary of state’s website.

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. Submit your application by 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 4 for the primaries and by 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 for the general election.
  • By mail: Either print out a general application form from the secretary of state’s website or call your parish registrar of voters to request that an application be mailed to you. Mail your completed form to your parish registrar of voters. It must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 4 for the primaries and by 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 for the general election. Requests received after the deadline will not be accepted.
  • In person: Print and complete an application form. Hand-deliver it to your parish registrar of voters by 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 4 for the primaries and by 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 for the general. You may also have an immediate family member deliver it for you, but that person may need to fill out additional paperwork.

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.

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 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.

  • By mail: Mail your completed ballot with proper postage to your parish registrar of voters. It must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 7 for the primaries and by 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 9 for the general election.
  • In person: Hand-deliver it to your parish registrar of voters by 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 7 for the primaries and by 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 9 for the general election. You may also have an immediate family member deliver it for you, but that person will need to sign a statement certifying their relationship to you.

You can 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?

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.

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

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.

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. If you do not have an ID, you can sign an affidavit after answering questions to verify your identity.

What races are on the ballot?

  • U.S. House: all six districts
  • U.S. Senate: the seat held by Republican John Neely Kennedy
  • State Supreme Court: one seat
  • Public Service Commissioner: two seats
  • Court of appeals judges: multiple seats

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.

Also of Interest:

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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