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      RS 18:1309.3     

  

§1309.3. Assistance in voting during early voting

            A. Voters entitled to assistance during early voting. A voter shall not receive assistance in voting unless he is unable to read or is unable to vote without assistance because of a physical disability, including visual impairment. If a voter who is entitled to receive assistance in voting chooses to vote using the audio ballot instead of receiving assistance and the audio ballot equipment fails, the voter shall be entitled to assistance in voting as provided in this Section.

            B. Persons prohibited from assisting voters during early voting. (1) No candidate in any election may assist any voter in casting his ballot in that election.

            (2) No employer or employer's agent may assist an employee in voting.

            (3) No union agent may assist a union member in voting.

            (4)(a) Except as provided in Paragraphs (1) through (3) of this Subsection, a voter entitled to assistance in voting may receive the assistance of any person of his choice, including a registrar or deputy registrar.

            (b) The registrar or deputy registrar shall write the voter's name in the precinct register or early voting list kept by the registrar and the name of the person assisting the voter behind the tab for Assistance to Voters. The person assisting the voter, including a registrar or deputy registrar, shall sign his name behind the tab for Assistance to Voters.

            C. Procedure when voter receives assistance during early voting. The person assisting the voter shall enter the voting machine with the voter and assist him in voting. No other person shall enter the voting machine or assist the voter in voting. No person assisting the voter shall reveal the name of any person for whom the voter has voted, how he voted on any proposition upon which he voted, or anything that took place while the voter was being assisted. When an early voting location is equipped with a voting machine which provides an audio ballot, the registrar or deputy registrar shall offer the option of voting using the audio ballot to a visually impaired voter or a voter who is unable to read. If the voter elects to vote using the audio ballot, the registrar or deputy registrar shall assist the voter with the headset and instruct the voter or the person selected to assist the voter concerning the use of the audio ballot.

            D.(1)(a) Prior to receiving assistance pursuant to this Section because of a disability, including visual impairment, the voter shall file with the registrar in person or by mail a statement setting forth the necessity and reasons for this assistance and shall furnish the registrar one of the following:

            (i) A certificate of a medical doctor or optometrist certifying to the irremediable nature of the physical disability as proof of disability.

            (ii) A copy of a current mobility impairment identification card bearing a photograph of the voter and the international symbol of accessibility issued by the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections as authorized by the provisions of R.S. 47:463.4.

            (iii) A copy of current documentation showing eligibility for social security disability benefits, veteran's disability benefits, paratransit services, benefits from the office for citizens with developmental disabilities, or benefits from Louisiana Rehabilitation Services.

            (iv) A completed and signed voter registration application attesting that the voter has a physical disability and requires assistance in voting.

            (v) A completed and signed voter assistance form provided by the secretary of state wherein the voter attests that he has a physical disability and requires assistance in voting.

            (b) If the voter is submitting the information required by this Paragraph by mail, the voter shall include a copy of his Louisiana driver's license, his Louisiana special identification card issued pursuant to R.S. 40:1321, or other generally recognized picture identification card that contains the name and signature of the voter.

            (2) If such statement with such documentation, if applicable, is filed with the registrar as provided in this Subsection or presented to the registrar or deputy registrar during early voting, the registrar shall document those facts in the voter's information on the statewide voter registration system and, as appropriate, on the voter's original application for registration and on any other official registration records. The registrar shall retain the statement and documentation, if applicable. Thereafter, the voter shall not be required to present evidence of any kind during early voting or at the polls.

            E. A voter who has a visible physical disability or who presents a current mobility impairment identification card bearing a photograph of the voter and the international symbol of accessibility issued by the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections as authorized by the provisions of R.S. 47:463.4, and the person who will be assisting him in voting, shall be allowed to go to the front of the line to cast a ballot when early voting.

            Acts 2009, No. 436, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2010; Acts 2010, No. 590, §1, eff. June 25, 2010; Acts 2013, No. 383, §1, eff. June 18, 2013; Acts 2013, No. 395, §1, eff. June 18, 2013; Acts 2014, No. 811, §9, eff. June 23, 2014; Acts 2017, No. 201, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.



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