Skip Navigation Links
      RS 18:1306     

  

§1306. Preparation and distribution of absentee by mail and early voting ballots

            A.(1) The secretary of state shall prepare absentee by mail and early voting ballots. The size and weight of paper, size and type of print, and other matters pertaining to absentee by mail and early voting ballots shall be determined by the secretary of state, subject to approval as to content by the attorney general. All ballots and paraphernalia of the same kind shall be identical as to size and weight of paper, size, type, and color of print, and other matters, except for ballots transmitted electronically to members of the United States Service, as defined in R.S. 18:1302, and to persons residing outside the United States.

            (2)(a) Each ballot shall have printed on its face instructions informing the voter of the types of marks which may be used on that ballot to indicate his vote.

            (b) The instructions shall inform the voter that a combination of marks may not be used on the same ballot and that the use of more than one type of mark on the same ballot will result in that ballot being voided.

            (3) A ballot shall be marked by the voter with a pencil containing black lead or a pen containing black or blue ink, and the instructions printed on the face of the ballot shall inform the voter of this requirement. The instructions printed on the face of the ballot shall also inform the voter concerning how to change or correct his vote on the ballot before it is cast and counted, including through the issuance of a replacement ballot if the voter is otherwise unable to change or correct his vote on the ballot.

            (4) The secretary of state shall prepare a special absentee ballot for candidates and constitutional amendments to be voted on in general elections, subject to approval as to content by the attorney general. This special ballot shall only be for use by a qualified voter who is either a member of the United States Service or who resides outside of the United States. Such special ballot shall contain a list of the titles of all offices being contested at the primary election and the candidates qualifying for the primary election for each office, and shall permit the elector to vote in the general election by indicating his order of preference for each candidate for each office. On the special ballot shall also be printed each constitutional amendment to be voted on in the general election. To indicate his order of preference for each candidate for each office to be voted on in the election, the voter shall put the number one next to the name of the candidate who is the voter's first choice, the number two for his second choice and so forth so that, in consecutive numerical order, a number indicating the voter's preference is written by the voter next to each candidate's name on the ballot. A space shall be provided for the voter to indicate his preference for or against each constitutional amendment contained on the ballot. The voter shall not be required to indicate his preference for more than one candidate on the ballot if the voter so chooses. The secretary of state shall also prepare instructions for use of the special ballot, including instructions for voting by mail using an electronically transmitted ballot.

            B.(1) The secretary of state shall prepare absentee by mail ballot envelopes, absentee by mail instructions, certificates, and other absentee by mail balloting paraphernalia consistent with the provisions of this Chapter, subject to approval of the attorney general as to content. The specifications of the absentee by mail ballot envelopes shall be determined by the secretary of state. Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 18:1316 relating to distinguishing marks on absentee by mail ballots, absentee by mail voting instructions on absentee by mail ballots to be transmitted by facsimile in accordance with R.S. 18:1308(A)(1)(b) shall inform the voter of the types of marks which may be used on the ballot to indicate his vote. When a court of competent jurisdiction, a registrar of voters, the secretary of state, or other competent authority determines that there exists a literate linguistic minority equal to more than five percent of the total population of any parish, the secretary of state, with approval of the attorney general as to content, shall prepare and furnish absentee by mail and early voting ballots, absentee by mail and early voting instructions, and certificates in the minority language in sufficient quantity to provide to each absentee by mail and early voter requesting voting material in that language.

            (2) The secretary of state shall include with the election paraphernalia accompanying absentee by mail ballots instructions, approved by the secretary of state and the attorney general, generally describing the particular absentee by mail counting equipment utilized in the election to count absentee by mail ballots. The instructions shall inform the voter how to cast his vote, which shall include if applicable instructions for marking the absentee by mail ballot and examples of the correct and incorrect methods of marking the ballot.

            (3) The secretary of state shall prepare early voting ballots and include with the election paraphernalia accompanying early voting ballots instructions approved by the secretary of state and the attorney general, which generally describe the particular early voting counting equipment used in the election to count early voting ballots or voting machines used to cast early voting ballots. The instructions shall inform the voter how to cast his vote, which shall include if applicable instructions for marking the early voting ballot and examples of the correct and incorrect methods of marking the ballot.

            C.(1) At least twenty days before each primary election and at least thirteen days before each general election, the secretary of state shall deliver to the registrar in each parish in which the election is to be held the paper absentee by mail ballots, envelopes, certificates, instructions to be used in voting an absentee by mail ballot in that election, and a statement, approved by the attorney general, explaining the scope and nature of any proposed constitutional amendment. The number of paper absentee by mail ballots and other necessary paraphernalia to be delivered shall be up to ten percent of the registered voters within each parish.

            (2) At least twenty days before each primary election the secretary of state shall deliver to the registrar in each parish in which the election is to be held the special absentee ballot for qualified voters who are either members of the United States Service or persons residing outside of the United States. The number of special ballots and other necessary paraphernalia, including instructions for the use of the special ballot, to be so delivered shall be up to one percent of the registered voters within each parish.

            D. An absentee by mail ballot envelope shall have printed on its face in red bold face type:

FOR BALLOT ONLY

VIOLATION OF ABSENTEE BY MAIL OR EARLY

VOTING LAWS VOIDS BALLOT

AND MAY RESULT IN CRIMINAL PENALTIES

VOTING AT POLLS AFTER VOTING ABSENTEE BY MAIL

OR DURING EARLY VOTING IS PROHIBITED

AND MAY RESULT IN CRIMINAL PENALTIES

            E.(1) An absentee by mail ballot envelope also shall have a perforated extension or flap below the sealing line, which shall bear a certificate prescribed by the secretary of state and approved by the attorney general. The certificate shall include but not necessarily be limited to:

            (a) The full name and place of residence of the voter in Louisiana, including state, parish, ward, precinct, city, and street.

            (b) The statement of the voter certifying that he applied for the ballot, marked the enclosed ballot(s) himself or that they were marked for him according to his instructions and in his presence.

            (c) The statement of the voter that he is entitled to vote at the precinct he names.

            (d) Authorization to the parish board of election supervisors to open the envelope and count his ballot.

            (e) His mother's maiden name.

            (f) An affidavit followed by a line for the handwritten signature or mark of the voter, certifying that the statements made by him are true and correct and that the voter is aware of the penalties for knowingly making a false statement therein, which penalties shall be stated on the certificate.

            (g) Repealed by Acts 2015, No. 307, §3, eff. June 29, 2015.

            (h) Repealed by Acts 2005, No. 220, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 2006.

            (2)(a) An absentee by mail ballot envelope flap shall also contain a line for the handwritten signature of one witness and a line for the printed name of the witness. The voter shall sign the certificate in the presence of one witness and his certificate shall be made under penalty of perjury for providing false or fraudulent information. Above the perforation and along the seal line, the words "DO NOT DETACH FLAP" shall be printed. No person except the immediate family member of the voter, as defined in this Code, shall witness more than one certificate of a voter.

            (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph, a member of the United States Service or person residing outside of the United States who is registered to vote shall not be required to sign the certificate in the presence of one witness, but his certificate shall be made under penalty of perjury for providing false or fraudulent information.

            F. Repealed by Acts 2013, No. 395, §2, eff. June 18, 2013.

            G. Repealed by Acts 2007, No. 240, §2.

            H. Repealed by Acts 2005, No. 220, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 2006.

            Acts 1976, No. 697, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1978. Amended by Acts 1977, No. 513, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1978; Acts 1978, No. 292, §1, eff. July 6, 1978; Acts 1980, No. 506, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; Acts 1981, No. 77, §1, eff. June 26, 1981; Acts 1982, No. 10, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1983; Acts 1982, No. 166, §1, eff. July 14, 1982; Acts 1985, No. 755, §1; Acts 1986, No. 425, §1; Acts 1987, No. 831, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1988, No. 909, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 179, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1992, No. 438, §1, eff. June 20, 1992; Acts 1992, No. 949, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, No. 300, §1, eff. June 15, 1995; Acts 1997, No. 1420, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 2001, No. 451, §6, eff. Jan. 12, 2004; Acts 2001, No. 1032, §7; Acts 2002, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 130, §1, eff. April 23, 2002; Acts 2003, No. 1220, §2, eff. July 3, 2003; Acts 2005, No. 220, §§1, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2006; Acts 2006, No. 560, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007; Acts 2007, No. 240, §§1, 2; Acts 2008, No. 136, §1, eff. June 6, 2008; Acts 2008, No. 304, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009; Acts 2009, No. 369, §1; Acts 2009, No. 436, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2010; Acts 2010, No. 570, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2011; Acts 2010, No. 624, §1, eff. June 25, 2010; Acts 2011, No. 195, §1, eff. June 24, 2011; Acts 2013, No. 395, §§1, 2, eff. June 18, 2013; Acts 2015, No. 307, §§1, 3, eff. June 29, 2015; Acts 2016, No. 281, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 2017; Acts 2020, No. 210, §1, eff. June 11, 2020; Acts 2022, No. 274, §1, eff. June 3, 2022.



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