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      RS 18:1309     

  

§1309. Early voting; verification

            A.(1)(a)(i) The period for conducting early voting shall be from fourteen days to seven days prior to any scheduled election.

            (ii) The period for conducting early voting shall also include the day added pursuant to Subparagraph (b) of this Paragraph, if applicable.

            (b)(i) One day of early voting shall be added to the period specified in Item (a)(i) of this Paragraph if one or more holidays is required to be observed on a weekday during that period pursuant to Paragraph (4) of this Subsection.

            (ii) The additional day shall be the first day preceding the period described in Item (a)(i) of this Paragraph that is not a Sunday or a holiday required to be observed pursuant to Paragraph (4) of this Subsection.

            (2) During the early voting period, the registrar shall maintain regular office hours, remaining open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Early voting on each day of the early voting period shall terminate when all persons who were in line to vote at the close of the regular office hours of the registrar's office, as provided in this Paragraph, have been allowed to vote. If the office space of the registrar is insufficient or inconvenient to accommodate early voting, the registrar may provide for an alternate location to conduct early voting, which location shall be in the courthouse or in a public building in the immediate vicinity thereof, and in such case, adequate notice shall be posted at the registrar's office informing the public of the location where early voting is being conducted.

            (3) A law enforcement officer shall not interfere with the conduct of the election, the voters, or the election officials. However, a registrar may use law enforcement officers to maintain order at any location where early voting is conducted.

            (4) A registrar shall observe the holidays which are provided by law or proclaimed by the governor for state departments during any period for conducting early voting.

            B.(1) For the purpose of facilitating early voting, the registrar may designate, in addition to the location for early voting provided in Subsection A of this Section, one branch office wherein early voting may be conducted. Any such branch office shall be located in a public building, and the hours during which early voting may be conducted therein shall be fixed by the registrar as provided in Subsection A of this Section. However, if a branch office of a registrar is destroyed, inaccessible, or unsafe during or following a gubernatorially declared state of emergency, the registrar may utilize a temporary building as a branch office to discharge his duties until an office that meets the requirements of this Section becomes available. Such temporary office shall be located within the parish, or if there is no appropriate location within the parish due to the emergency, then in an immediately adjacent parish, or if there is no appropriate location in any immediately adjacent parish due to the emergency, then in the nearest parish in which there is an appropriate location.

            (2) The registrar shall provide or post the instructions, informational posters, if required, the statement of proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot, and a certified screenshot as a sample ballot in a conspicuous place at the principal entrance to the early voting polling place, where they shall remain posted throughout early voting.

            C. In parishes which extend in one direction more than fifty miles and which are interspersed with navigable waters, the registrar may designate, in addition to the locations for early voting provided for in Subsections A and B of this Section, one additional branch office wherein early voting may be conducted. Any such branch office shall be located in a public building and the hours during which early voting may be conducted therein shall be fixed by the registrar.

            D.(1) Before any voter is allowed to vote during early voting, the registrar or his deputy shall establish the voter's identity by requiring him to submit a Louisiana driver's license, a 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. If the voter does not have a Louisiana driver's license, a Louisiana special identification card, or other generally recognized picture identification card that contains the name and signature of the voter, the voter shall complete and sign, in the presence of the registrar or his deputy, a voter identification affidavit to that effect provided by the secretary of state, which affidavit shall include the voter's date of birth and mother's maiden name. If the voter is unable to read or write or is otherwise unable to complete the affidavit due to disability, the voter may receive assistance in completing the affidavit, and the registrar or his deputy shall make a notation on the affidavit. The voter may receive the assistance of any person of his choice, including the registrar or his deputy, except a candidate, the voter's employer or employer's agent, or the voter's union agent. The registrar or his deputy shall retain the affidavit in the office of the registrar of voters. If satisfied that the voter has identified himself as the voter registered in the state voter registration computer system or named on the precinct register and that he is qualified to vote, the registrar or his deputy shall initial the precinct register or early voting list kept by the registrar opposite the voter's signature or mark. The voter then shall be allowed to vote. A voter who votes without the picture identification required by this Paragraph is subject to challenge as provided in R.S. 18:1315.

            (2) If the voter's name is found in the state voter registration computer system or precinct register on the inactive list of voters, the voter shall be required to complete an address confirmation card to determine his eligibility to vote.

            E.(1) The voter's identity having been established as provided in Subsection D of this Section, the voter shall sign or make his mark in the precinct register or early voting list kept by the registrar prior to voting.

            (2) The registrar or deputy registrar shall electronically generate an early voting confirmation sheet for each voter using the state voter registration computer system or a form prepared by the secretary of state and retain the confirmation sheet in the office of the registrar to be used by the registrar to verify each early voter at the end of the early voting period. If a paper ballot is used for early voting in lieu of a voting machine, the registrar or deputy registrar shall write "early voting paper ballot voter" across the early voting confirmation sheet for the voter and attach it to the paper ballot envelope.

            (3) The voter then shall be allowed to cast his vote in an area and in a manner that protects the secrecy of his vote.

            (4)(a) A voter shall not remain in a voting machine longer than three minutes. If a voter fails to leave a voting machine promptly after the registrar or deputy registrar has notified him that three minutes have elapsed, the registrar or deputy registrar shall have the voter removed from the voting machine.

            (b) Notwithstanding Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph, a voter receiving assistance in voting pursuant to R.S. 18:1309.3 or a voter using the audio ballot shall be allowed to remain in a voting machine for up to twenty minutes. If such a voter fails to leave a voting machine promptly after the registrar or deputy registrar has notified him that twenty minutes have elapsed, the registrar or deputy registrar shall have the voter removed from the voting machine.

            (5)(a) In order to cast a vote on a voting machine, a voter shall make a selection in a candidate or proposition election. Voting is completed by activating the cast vote mechanism. If the voter has made any selection in a candidate or proposition election but has failed to activate the cast vote mechanism, the registrar or his deputy, observed by a deputy registrar or, in the absence of a deputy registrar, a witness, shall activate the cast vote mechanism for the fled voter without altering any selections made by the voter. In the case of vote activation in the presence of a witness, the registrar or deputy registrar shall record the name and address of the witness.

            (b)(i) In order to cast a vote on a paper ballot, a voter must make a selection for a candidate or for or against a proposition by completely filling in the oval to the right of a selection and returning the ballot to the appropriate election official within the applicable deadline set forth by law. If a voter makes selections for more than the number of candidates to be elected for an office or makes selections for and against the same proposition, the selections for that office or proposition will be void.

            (ii) If the paper ballot envelope contains a certificate on the envelope flap, the voter shall not be required to sign the certificate. The registrar of voters or deputy registrar shall write "early voting ballot" across the envelope flap and include the voter's name, ward, precinct, and registration number and attach it to the early voting confirmation sheet so that the ballot may be identified for purposes of a challenge filed pursuant to R.S. 18:1315.

            (iii) If a voter determines that his ballot is spoiled because he wants to change or correct his vote on the ballot before it is cast and counted but is unable to do so, he may obtain a replacement ballot upon returning the spoiled ballot to the registrar or deputy registrar. The voter shall cast his vote as provided in Item (i) of this Subparagraph using the replacement ballot. The registrar or deputy registrar shall write the words "spoiled and replaced" on the ballot and attach it to the early voting confirmation sheet.

            (6) If a person who votes during early voting at the registrar's office casts his vote on an incorrect ballot as provided to him by the registrar or his deputy and the time for early voting has not expired, the registrar or his deputy shall write "void, challenge removal" and the reason for the challenge on the confirmation sheet, retain the confirmation sheet, and permit the voter to vote the correct ballot using a paper ballot. The confirmation sheet shall be attached to the paper ballot envelope for review by the parish board of election supervisors on election day and for use by the secretary of state's office in removing the voided ballot from the voting machine as a challenged ballot on election day.

            F.(1) At the end of each day during early voting, the registrar shall document on the early voting verification form provided by the secretary of state for each early voting location each of the following:

            (a) The total number for the public counters of all early voting machines for the day.

            (b) The total number of early voting confirmation sheets for the day.

            (c) The total number of early voters from the state voter registration computer system for the day.

            (d) Any discrepancies or irregularities observed that prevent the total public counter number from matching the total early voting confirmation sheet number for the day and the total number of early voters from the state voter registration computer system for the day.

            (2) Each day, the registrar shall compare the information in the early voting confirmation sheets to the information contained in the state voter registration computer system. If the registrar finds any discrepancies, he shall make a note thereof on the early voting verification form or on a notice of irregularity form provided by the secretary of state that he shall attach to the early voting verification form.

            (3) At the end of the early voting period, the registrar shall complete the early voting verification form for each location and sign and certify to its correctness and print an early voter report from the state voter registration computer system listing all early voters from the parish. All early voting verification forms, early voting machine public counter logs, early voting confirmation sheets, early voter reports, and paper ballots voted during early voting shall be placed in the special absentee by mail and early voting envelope or container for delivery to the parish board of election supervisors on election day for the tabulation and counting of early voting ballots.

            G. By no later than the day before an election, the registrar shall have received from the branch office and all early voting locations all early voting machine results cartridges, early voting confirmation sheets, early voting verification forms, early voting machine public counter logs, paper ballot envelopes, certificates, early voting lists or duplicate precinct registers, and other election paraphernalia.

            H. Prior to delivery of the precinct register to the parish custodian, the registrar shall ensure that the precinct register reflects for each voter whether the voter voted during early voting or voted timely absentee by mail using the words "voted by mail" and, if the register was not used during early voting, "voted early" in the signature line for the voter in the precinct register.

            I. In the event of the inability to utilize voting machines for early voting within a parish, the registrar may utilize paper ballots for early voting.

            J. Upon approval of the secretary of state, a registrar of voters may utilize commissioners selected and trained by the registrar of voters to assist the registrar during the early voting period in the conduct of early voting by his office. A registrar of voters shall, in seeking the approval of the secretary of state, indicate to the secretary the number of commissioners that is required for such assistance. A commissioner who assists the registrar in the conduct of early voting shall take an oath of office as a deputy registrar for the early voting period and shall complete an affidavit prepared by the secretary of state that contains the name, address, and last four digits of the social security number of the early voting commissioner and an acknowledgment that the law prohibits the disclosure of confidential voter information listed in the precinct register or early voting list kept by the registrar. The affidavit shall be retained in the office of the registrar of voters. A commissioner who assists the registrar in the conduct of early voting shall be paid in accordance with R.S. 18:426.1(3) for each day of such assistance.

            K.(1) Only a certified commissioner may be selected to serve as an early voting commissioner.

            (2) A person to whom one or more of the following applies shall not serve as an early voting commissioner:

            (a) The person is a candidate in the election.

            (b) An immediate family member of the person is a candidate for election to public office in the election.

            (c) The person is marked for assistance in voting in the precinct register or requires the use of the audio ballot in voting.

            (d) The person has been convicted of an election offense enumerated in Chapter 10 of this Title.

            L. During early voting the registrar of voters shall make available to the public at each location where early voting is conducted copies of the state mail voter registration application forms.

            M.(1)(a) In a parish where early voting is conducted at an additional location pursuant to R.S. 18:1309.2, the registrar may fix the hours and days during which early voting shall be conducted at the additional location during the early voting period if such hours and days of voting are approved by the secretary of state no later than twenty-five days prior to the election.

            (b) The registrar shall ensure that adequate notice is posted at the office of the registrar informing the public of the hours and days during which early voting will be conducted at the additional location, and the secretary of state shall post such notice on the secretary of state's website.

            (2) The provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not apply to early voting for gubernatorial or congressional elections.

            Acts 1976, No. 697, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1978. Amended by Acts 1980, No. 506, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; Acts 1981, No. 106, §1, eff. July 3, 1981; Acts 1982, No. 10, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1983; Acts 1983, No. 519, §1, eff. July 8, 1983; Acts 1984, No. 672, §1; Acts 1985, No. 755, §1; Acts 1987, No. 831, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1989, No. 179, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1992, No. 949, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1993; Acts 1997, No. 1420, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1999, No. 254, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2001, No. 1181, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002; Acts 2002, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 130, §§1, 3, eff. April 23, 2002; Acts 2003, No. 1220, §2, eff. July 3, 2003; Acts 2004, No. 526, §2, eff. June 25, 2004; Acts 2005, No. 220, §1, 4, eff. Jan. 1, 2006; Acts 2005, No. 431, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2006; Acts 2006, No. 403, §1, eff. June 15, 2006; Acts 2006, No. 569, §1, eff. June 23, 2006; Acts 2007, No. 229, §1; Acts 2007, No. 240, §1; Acts 2008, No. 136, §1, eff. June 6, 2008; Acts 2008, No. 167, §1, eff. June 12, 2008; Acts 2009, No. 369, §1, eff. Aug. 15, 2009, and §2, eff. Jan. 1, 2010; Acts 2009, No. 436, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 2010; Acts 2012, No. 93, §1, eff. May 11, 2012; Acts 2012, No. 138, §1, eff. May 14, 2012; Acts 2013, No. 383, §§1, 5, eff. June 18, 2013; Acts 2013, No. 395, §1, eff. June 18, 2013; Acts 2014, No. 60, §1, eff. May 16, 2014; Acts 2016, No. 83, §1; Acts 2016, No. 281, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.



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