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      RS 18:116     

  

§116. Voter registration agencies

            A.(1) Voter registration services shall be provided at the following offices, hereby designated as voter registration agencies:

            (a) Public assistance offices and agencies that administer or provide services under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid program, the supplemental food for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP), the Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP), and the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) or their successor programs.

            (b) All offices in the state that provide state funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities.

            (c) Repealed by Acts 2016, No. 281, §3, eff. May 31, 2016.

            (2) In addition to the offices listed in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection, the secretary of state shall designate by rule in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act other offices within the state as designated voter registration agencies. Such offices may include but not be limited to:

            (a) State or local governmental offices such as public libraries, public schools, including the office of a secondary school guidance counselor, offices of municipal clerks, and government revenue offices.

            (b) Federal and nongovernmental offices, with the agreement of such offices.

            (3) Voter registration services shall be provided at recruitment offices of the Armed Forces of the United States according to the procedures established by the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

            B.(1) At each designated voter registration agency, the following services shall be provided during regular office hours:

            (a) Distribution of a mail voter registration application form.

            (b) Assistance to applicants in completing voter registration application forms, unless the applicant refuses such assistance.

            (c) Acceptance of completed voter registration application forms for submission to the registrar of voters within the parish where the voter registration agency is located.

            (d) Acceptance of any change of name submitted by a registrant to an agency which shall serve as a notification of change of name for voter registration unless the registrant states at the time of submitting the change that the change is not for voter registration purposes. The transmittal procedure shall be handled in the same manner as voter registration applications.

            (2) Persons providing the services described in this Subsection shall not:

            (a) Seek to influence an applicant's political preference or party registration.

            (b) Display any such political preference or party allegiance.

            (c) Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to discourage the applicant from applying to register to vote.

            (d) Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to lead the applicant to believe that a decision to apply to register or not to apply to register to vote has any bearing on the availability of services or benefits.

            C.(1) A designated voter registration agency as provided in Paragraph (A)(1) of this Section shall:

            (a) Distribute a mail voter registration application form with each application for service or assistance and with each recertification, renewal, or change of address form relating to such service or assistance unless the applicant declines in writing to register to vote.

            (b) Provide a form to accompany the mail voter registration application form which includes:

            (i) A statement of voter registration eligibility requirements.

            (ii) The question "If you are not registered to vote where you live now, would you like to apply to register to vote here today?"

            (iii) If the agency provides public assistance, the statement "Applying to register or declining to register to vote will not affect the amount of assistance that you will be provided by this agency."

            (iv) Boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant would like to register or declines to register to vote with the statement "IF YOU DO NOT CHECK ANY BOX, YOU WILL BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE DECIDED NOT TO REGISTER TO VOTE AT THIS TIME." in close proximity to the boxes and in prominent type.

            (v) The statements "If you would like help in filling out the voter registration form, we will help you. The decision whether to seek or accept help is yours. You may fill out the application form in private."

            (vi) The statement "If you believe that someone has interfered with your right to register or to decline to register to vote, your right to privacy in deciding whether to register or in applying to register to vote, or your right to choose your own political party or other political preference, you may file a complaint with the secretary of state." and the current address and telephone number of the secretary of state.

            (2) If an applicant fails to check any box on the form required by this Subsection, the applicant shall be deemed to have declined to apply to register to vote.

            (3) Each applicant who decides to register to vote shall be provided the same degree of assistance with regard to the completion of the registration application form as is provided by the office with regard to the completion of its own forms, unless the applicant refuses such assistance.

            (4) If a designated voter registration agency as provided in Subparagraph (A)(1)(b) of this Section provides services to a person with a disability at the person's home, the agency shall provide the same services described in this Section at the person's home.

            (5) No information relating to a declination to apply to register to vote may be used for any purpose other than voter registration and shall not be subject to public inspection.

            D. Each designated voter registration agency shall transmit no later than five days after acceptance, all completed voter registration applications to the registrar of voters within the parish where the voter registration agency is located who shall transmit such applications to the appropriate registrar of voters for the parish in which the applicant resides, as determined from the information contained on the registration application. If a registration application is accepted within five days before the last day for registration, each agency shall transmit the completed voter registration application forms to the registrar at the conclusion of each business day.

            E. Upon receipt of the completed registration form, the registrar shall determine the eligibility of the applicant as provided in R.S. 18:115(B). Any completed voter registration application transmitted to and received by a registrar by a designated voter registration agency shall be considered an update to any existing registration for that person. However, if a registrar accepts any application for registration, change of name, or change of address that has been received by a designated voter registration agency while the registration records are closed for a particular election as required by R.S. 18:135(A), none of the changes shall be effective until at least the day after the particular election has been held. In the case of a change of address, the change shall be effective in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 18:110(B).

            F. The fact that an applicant submitted an application to register to vote at a designated voter registration agency shall be kept confidential and will be used only for voter registration purposes.

            G. Each designated voter registration agency shall maintain such statistical records on the number of applications to register to vote as requested by the secretary of state.

            Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 10, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, No. 1155, §5; Acts 1999, No. 254, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2001, No. 451, §6, eff. Jan. 12, 2004; Acts 2008, No. 310, §1; Acts 2013, No. 383, §2; Acts 2016, No. 281, §§1, 3, eff. May 31, 2016.



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