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The demand for absentee ballots is rising, here's how you can get yours

The demand for absentee ballots is an indication of the high interest in the presidential election.

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana — The Orleans Registrar of Voters office brought in extra help to process all the requests for absentee ballots for the Nov. 3, presidential election.

The ballots just arrived last Thursday. 

Now, the office is working late hours to get them to voters. 

“We usually end our day at 4:30 p.m.,” Orleans Registrar of Voters Sandra Wilson said. “Last night we left close to 10 p.m.” 

Wilson expects to send out nearly 18,000 paper ballots. 

By comparison she says about 4,000 to 6,000 voters in the city, historically vote by mail during a normal election. 

“We are kind of excited because we want to show the public, we’re going to get it done properly,” Wilson said. “It is a huge, monumental challenge, but no one has to be concerned the security of the ballots.” 

The demand for absentee ballots is an indication of the high interest in the presidential election.

We met a man named Rocky who didn’t want to give us his last name at the registrar’s office. 

The 65-year-old told us this is the first time he’s ever registered to vote. 

“I never really cared to vote, but now I have a concern about voting because I see the way the system operates, I see the way the government operates and I feel my vote will change the way it’s in operation right now,” Rocky said. 

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There are new options for absentee voters concerned about the post office delivering their completed ballots on time. 

They include ballot drop boxes and curbside drop off locations at New Orleans City Hall and the Algiers Courthouse beginning Oct. 28 through Nov. 2. 

“The reason those options exist is because of the magnitude of ballots that we’re sending out,” Wilson said. 

The registrar recommends when you receive your ballot fill it out, sign it, get a witness to sign it and drop it off or send it in as soon as possible. 

The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the November election is Oct. 30 by 4:30 p.m.  

If you are at higher risk of being infected by the coronavirus because of a medical condition or you feel that your health will be compromised as a result of voting in person, you can request an absentee ballot for the upcoming election. 

To see if you qualify for an absentee ballot, click on the Louisiana Secretary of State “Geaux Vote” website for information. 

Here’s the link: https://www.sos.la.gov/electionsandvoting/vote/votebymail/pages/default.aspx

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