Louisiana ID requirements for voting by mail

COVID-19 Advisory: Governor John Bel Edwards issued a proclamation postponing the state's presidential preference primary election to July 11, 2020. The absentee ballot request deadline was extended to July 7, 2020. The return deadline for absentee ballots has been extended to July 10, 2020. Voters can request an absentee ballot online.

An emergency election plan was approved that allows certain Louisiana voters who meet one of five COVID-19 related excuses, drawn from CDC guidelines or federal legislation, to vote absentee: (1) those at higher risk for COVID-19 due to CDC-identified underlying health issues; (2) those subject to medically necessary quarantines or isolation orders; (3) those advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine; (4) those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking diagnosis; (5) those caring for certain individuals. These absentee voters must obtain a witness signature on the absentee ballot envelope flap. First time voters who registered by mail or electronically are permitted to vote absentee for the July and August elections only if they are voting absentee due to one of the five COVID-19 reasons.

Who is eligible to request an absentee ballot and vote by mail?

To be qualified to vote absentee, you must be:

  • A student, professor or instructor in higher education, or the spouse/dependent residing with them
  • A member of the clergy assigned outside of your parish of registration, or a spouse/dependent
  • Temporarily absent or expecting to be temporarily absent*
  • Moved more than 100 miles from your Parish after the voter registration books closed
  • In involuntary confinement for mental treatment outside your parish of registration
  • Expecting to be hospitalized on election day
  • Offshore or expecting to be offshore* 
  • Incarcerated or expecting to be incarcerated for a non-felony conviction 
  • Part of Address Confidentiality Program
  • A sequestered juror with jury sequestered*
  • At least 65 years of age
  • Has a physical disability/is homebound/in a nursing or veteran's home or hospital* 

* during the early voting period and on election day

Voter Registration

First-time voters who have not voted in a previous federal election, or who have never voted in their county of residence in a federal election, AND who did not provide either a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number at the time of registration, must present documentation proving their identity in order to complete their voter registration. First time voters who are voting in person must present this documentation at the polls. First time voters who are voting by mail/absentee ballot must enclose a copy of such documentation with their ballot request or ballot. This is required under the federal Help America Vote Act, enacted in 2002.

Do you need to submit ID with your absentee ballot request?

  • Voters who are disabled/homebound/in a nursing or veteran's home, see Disability Application for Absentee by Mail Ballot for potential ID requirements.
  • If you are a student who is a first-time voter, you must enclose a copy of your student ID or fee bill.
  • If you expect to be hospitalized, you must enclose proof of hospitalization.
  • If you are incarcerated, you must enclose a certification by sheriff.
  • If you are a juror who expects to be sequestered during the early voting period and on election day, you must enclose a certified copy of court order.

First-time voters may need to submit ID – see Voter Registration section above.

Do you need to submit ID with your ballot?

No, but the signature on your mail ballot must match your voter registration signature.

Last update: May 18, 2020

Hannah Piercey