Skip Navigation Links
      RS 18:564     

  

§564. Assistance in voting on election day

            A. Voters entitled to assistance. 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 being visually impaired. 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. (1) No candidate in any election shall assist any voter in casting his ballot in that election.

            (2) No commissioner-in-charge can assist a voter.

            (3) No employer or employer's agent can assist an employee in voting.

            (4) No union agent can assist a union member in voting.

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

            (b) The commissioners shall write the voter's name in the precinct register and write the name of the person, including a commissioner, assisting the voter behind the tab for Assistance to Voters. If the voter is not marked for assistance in voting in the precinct register the voter or the person, including a commissioner, assisting the voter shall check the box behind the tab for Assistance to Voters indicating that the voter has a physical disability or is unable to read. The person, including a commissioner, assisting the voter shall sign his name behind the tab for Assistance to Voters.

            C. Procedure when voter receives assistance. The person or commissioners 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 selected by the voter to assist him shall reveal the name of any person for whom the voter has voted, any proposition upon which he voted, or anything that took place while the voter was being assisted. When a precinct is equipped with a voting machine which provides an audio ballot, the commissioner 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 such method, the commissioner shall assist the visually impaired voter or the voter who is unable to read with the headset and instruct the voter and the person selected to assist the voter on the use of the audio ballot.

            D.(1)(a) Prior to receiving assistance pursuant to this Section due to 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.

            (b) If the voter is submitting the information required by this Paragraph by mail, he shall also submit to the registrar 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.

            (c) If such statement with such documentation, if applicable, is filed with the registrar as provided in this Paragraph or if a statement with such documentation, if applicable, is presented to the commissioner-in-charge on election day pursuant to Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, the registrar shall indicate such facts in the registrant's information on the state voter registration computer system and, if the original application is available in hard copy in the registrar's office, on the original application for registration. The registrar shall retain the statement and documentation, if applicable. Thereafter, the voter shall not be required to present evidence of any kind at the polls or during early voting.

            (2)(a) A voter shall also be entitled to assistance without having filed with the registrar a statement setting forth the necessity and reasons for this assistance if, on election day, the voter presents to the commissioner-in-charge one of the following as proof of disability:

            (i) A physician's certificate indicating the voter's inability to vote without assistance because of a physical disability.

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

            (b) The commissioner-in-charge shall place any physician's certificate, statement setting forth the necessity and reasons for assistance, copy of proof of disability, or completed and signed voter assistance form presented by a voter in the envelope marked "Registrar of Voters" and attach the envelope to the precinct register.

            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 at the polls.

            Acts 1976, No. 697, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1978. Amended by Acts 1979, No. 229, §1, eff. July 13, 1979; Acts 1985, No. 754, §1; Acts 1987, No. 831, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1989, No. 179, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1991, No. 201, §1, eff. July 2, 1991; Acts 1993, No. 418, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, No. 752, §1; Acts 2001, No. 1181, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002; Acts 2003, No. 1220, §2, eff. July 3, 2003; Acts 2005, No. 220, §4, eff. Jan. 1, 2006; Acts 2006, No. 403, §1, eff. June 15, 2006; Acts 2008, No. 136, §1, eff. June 6, 2008; Acts 2008, No. 602, §1; Acts 2009, No. 186, §2, eff. June 29, 2009; Acts 2009, No. 436, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2010; Acts 2010, No. 590, §1, eff. June 25, 2010; Acts 2014, No. 811, §9, eff. June 23, 2014; Acts 2017, No. 176, §1, eff. June 14, 2017; Acts 2017, No. 201, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.



If you experience any technical difficulties navigating this website, click here to contact the webmaster.
P.O. Box 94062 (900 North Third Street) Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9062