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Know to Vote | Can you vote by mail? Most can

Who can apply for an absentee ballot in Louisiana? Most can after a recent court ruling.

NEW ORLEANS — In Louisiana, to be eligible to vote by mail, you'll need to apply, and most can qualify this year.

You can apply for an absentee ballot now. There is no start date, and Louisiana's election and voting website recommends doing it as soon as possible. Once the application is accepted by the registrar of voters, you can vote by mail. 

The deadline to apply for a mailing ballot is 4:30 p.m. Oct. 30 — the 4th day before election day. You find the applications and which one you should use below.

Who can apply for a for mail-in ballots in Louisiana with a Temporary COVID-19 Application?

After a federal judge said Louisiana's summer election plan was not broken, she ruled that the same plan should be used for the 2020 November election.

Under that plan anyone who qualifies to vote in Louisiana can request absentee ballots if they are at least one of the following:

  1. At higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to serious underlying medical conditions as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including: 
    • chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma
    • hypertension or other serious heart conditions
    • diabetes, undergoing chemotherapy, 
    • severe obesity (BMI of 40 or higher), 
    • chronic kidney disease and undergoing dialysis, liver disease
    • pregnancy, or immunocompromised due to cancer treatment, 
    • smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, 
    • immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and
    •  prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
  2. Subject to a medically necessary quarantine or isolation order as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  3. Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
  4. Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  5. Caring for an individual who is subject to a medically) necessary quarantine or isolation order as a result of COVID-19 or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns. 

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Military members and voters overseas can use this application

Who can apply for mail-in ballots in Louisiana with a General Application:

Senior citizens: 

If you are 65 years of age or older you can apply with a General Application. You have to choice of voting by mail for one election or all future elections; you can cancel later.

Temporarily Absent:

If you are temporarily out of state or outside the parish you're registered in during the early voting period and on election day or think you will, you can apply with a General Application.

If you request an absentee ballot to an address within your parish then you're required to say on the application what dates that they will be out of state or outside the parish you're registered in  

Offshore:

If you work or expect to be offshore working during the early voting period and on election day, you can apply with a General Application. 

Nursing Home:

If you live in a nursing home, veterans' home or a hospital and are unable to vote in person during early voting or at the polls on election day, you can apply with a General Application and enroll in the nursing home early voting program. 

The registrar of voters or a deputy registrar will go to your home facility sometime between a week before to the beginning of early voting and the last day of early voting.

The registrar of voters will bring either a paper ballot or a portable voting machine and guide you through the process of casting your vote.

Higher Education: 

If you are a student, instructor or professor located and living outside of your parish — or if you're married to or a dependent of those — you can apply with a General Application.

Clergy:

If you are a minister, priest, rabbi, or a different member of the clergy assigned outside of your parish — or if you're married to or a dependent of those — you can apply with a General Application.

Moved Out of Parish:

If you moved more than 100 miles from your parish after Oct 3, you can apply with a General Application. 

Involuntary Confinement: 

If you are involuntarily confined in an institution for mental treatment outside your parish and you are not interdicted and not judicially declared incompetent, you can apply with a General Application. 

Hospitalized: 

If you expect to be hospitalized on election day and didn't know you'd be until early voting had expired; or you were hospitalized during the time for early voting and you expect to be hospitalized on election day; or you were either hospitalized or restricted to bed by your doctor during early voting and on election day, you can apply with a General Application. 

Incarcerated: 

If you are incarcerated or expect to be incarcerated in an institution inside or outside of your parish of registration and you are not under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony, you can apply with a General Application. 

Address Confidentiality Program: 

If you are a program participant in the secretary of state's Address Confidentiality Program, you can apply with a General Application. 

Juror:

If you will be sequestered on the day of the election, you may apply through a General Application and once accepted by the registrar of voters, vote by mail.

Who can apply for mail-in ballots in La. with a Disabled Application:

Physical Disability:

If you are physically disabled, you may apply through the Disabled Application and if not enrolled, enroll in the disability program.

You have to choice of voting by mail for one election or all future elections; you can cancel later.

You may also choose to receive your ballot by email. 

If you have not previously provided proof of disability to your parish registrar of voters, one of the following must be submitted along with your application:   

  • a copy of a mobility-impaired identification card issued by the Office of Motor Vehicles
  • a copy of 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
  • a physician’s letter certifying your disability. 

If you choose to enroll in the disability program, you'll also have to send a copy of a photo ID (Louisiana driver’s license, Louisiana special ID card or other photo ID with name and signature) or a letter of oath where you have listed the names and addresses of two persons residing in your precinct who could make oath, if required, to the fact that you are physically disabled.

Homebound:

If you are homebound and cannot vote without assistance, you may apply through the Disabled Application and if not enrolled, enroll in the disability program

If you are disabled and homebound and are voting for the first time, your proof of disability must be a physician's letter certifying that you are homebound to exempt you from law that requires that you either register or vote for the first time in person. 

If you have previously voted, you may provide proof of disability through any of the documents listed above.

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More on voting in Louisiana elections:

RELATED: Early voting locations in Louisiana by-parish

RELATED: Here's how to register to vote in Louisiana online

RELATED: Need to register to vote in Louisiana? Here's how

RELATED: Who can register to vote? List of requirements

RELATED: Here's how to register to vote in Louisiana in person

RELATED: Here's how to register to vote in Louisiana by mail

RELATED: Can you vote by mail? Most can

RELATED: Here's how to apply for a mail-in ballot

RELATED: Important dates and deadlines for Louisiana voters