After working with the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House, chairmen of both House and Senate committees, as well as the Attorney General, a temporary plan was announced by Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, which is considered the best path forward to ensure voter access and maintenance of integrity and security in the election process.
● Emergency COVID-19 related excuse absentee-by-mail applications: For Louisiana voters affected by or concerned with the spread of COVID-19, a temporary, emergency application would allow those voters to receive an absentee ballot for the July and/or August elections. This plan covers five COVID-19 related excuses, drawn from CDC guidelines or federal legislation: those at higher risk for COVID-19 due to CDC-identified underlying health issues; those subject to medically necessary quarantines or isolation orders; those advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine; those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking diagnosis; those caring for certain individuals. Further, this plan requires a witness signature on the absentee ballot envelope flap.
● Expansion of in-person early voting: While maintaining the same voter ID requirements under current law, in-person early voting would be expanded from seven days to thirteen days to ensure maximum capability for social distancing. This includes three Saturdays of early voting for the July 11, 2020 and August 15, 2020 elections.
● Change of polling location for some voters: For voters who normally vote at polling locations associated with Louisiana’s senior population across several parishes, the polling place will be moved to a new location for the July and August elections. Voters affected by this change will be notified in a timely manner.
● Heightened precautions at in-person voting locations: For those who choose to take advantage of in-person voting, either during early voting or on election day, we are taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of polling commissioners and voters. This includes maintaining social distancing guidelines, offering hand sanitizer to voters, and distributing masks and gloves to polling commissioners.
For more information on what steps we are taking to conduct honest and fair elections during this pandemic, or to find out how you can vote in the July 11, 2020 and August 15, 2020 elections, head to GeauxVote.com.