2013 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 18 - Louisiana Election Code
RS 18:1308 - Absentee voting by mail


LA Rev Stat § 18:1308 What's This?

§1308. Absentee voting by mail

A.(1)(a) Beginning with the date on which the registrar receives the absentee by mail ballots and other necessary paraphernalia from the secretary of state, and thereafter, immediately upon receipt of an application by mail, the registrar shall mail the necessary instructions, certificates, ballots, and envelopes to the applicant at the address furnished by the applicant.

(b) If the voter feels he will not have time to vote timely by mail, the voter may request that the registrar transmit to him by facsimile a ballot, including the affidavit, or a second ballot, as the case may be, and the registrar shall do so if he has a facsimile machine in his office. However, the registrar shall not be required to send a second ballot by facsimile if the voter received a ballot by mail. The voter may then mail his voted ballot, including the affidavit, back to the registrar or transmit it by facsimile if the registrar has a facsimile machine in his office. If the voter transmits his voted ballot to the registrar by facsimile, the documents to be transmitted shall contain the following statement: "I understand that by faxing my voted ballot I am voluntarily waiving my right to a secret ballot." This statement shall be followed by the voter's handwritten signature, date, and social security number. Upon receipt of the transmittal, the registrar shall place the voted ballot along with the signed statement and affidavit in an appropriately marked envelope and seal it. The registrar and his staff shall take the steps necessary to keep the voted ballots received by facsimile as confidential as practicable.

(2)(a) With respect to members of the United States Service and persons residing outside the United States who are registered to vote, these materials shall be mailed as provided by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (39 U.S.C. 3406 and 42 U.S.C. 1973ff et seq.) and shall include both the primary election ballot and the special ballot for the general election. The registrar shall mail the materials for candidates for United States senator or United States representative in congressional primary and general elections, candidates for presidential nominee in presidential preference primary elections, and candidates in presidential elections at least forty-five days prior to the election to those voters who have made application to vote absentee by mail by such time.

(b) Notwithstanding the provision of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph, with respect to members of the United States Service and persons residing outside the United States who are registered to vote, these materials may be electronically transmitted for candidates for United States senator or United States representative in congressional primary and general elections and must include the special ballot or ballots as provided in R.S. 18:1306(A)(4) for the congressional general election. The registrar shall transmit the materials at least forty-five days prior to the election to those voters who have requested electronic transmission by such time.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph, with respect to members of the United States Service and persons residing outside the United States who are registered to vote, these materials may be electronically transmitted for candidates for presidential nominee in presidential preference primary elections and candidates in presidential elections. The registrar shall transmit the materials at least forty-five days prior to the election to those voters who have requested electronic transmission by such time.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph, with respect to members of the United States Service and persons residing outside the United States who are registered to vote, these materials may be electronically transmitted for candidates for state, local, and municipal offices and shall include the special ballot or ballots as provided in R.S. 18:1306(A)(4) for the general election.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph, with respect to members of the United States Service and persons residing outside the United States who are registered to vote, these materials may be electronically transmitted for candidates for political party offices.

(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraph (a) of the Paragraph, with respect to members of the United States Service and persons residing outside the United States who are registered to vote, these materials may be electronically transmitted for recall, proposed constitutional amendments, proposition, and question elections.

(g) For mailed ballots, the envelope mailed to the voter shall contain ballot envelopes and a return envelope. The return envelope shall bear the official title and mailing address of the registrar and the name, return address, and precinct or district number of the voter. The voter shall return his voted primary election ballot and special ballot for the general election to the registrar in the appropriate envelope. The registrar of voters shall mail a regular general election absentee ballot to a member of the United States Service or to persons residing overseas only if the regular general election absentee ballot includes one or more elections that were not included on the special ballot sent, as provided herein, to such voter. The envelope for the special ballot shall contain language on the outside of the envelope that clearly designates which envelope is to be used for return of the general election ballot.

(h)(i) For electronically transmitted ballots, the registrar shall transmit the ballot or ballots, certificate, and waiver of the right to a secret ballot to the voter for each ballot mailing. The waiver of the right to a secret ballot shall contain the following statement: "My ballot was transmitted electronically to me and I am voluntarily waiving my right to a secret ballot." The statement shall also contain a space for the voter's handwritten signature, the date, and the voter's social security number. The voter shall return by mail his voted ballot or ballots, completed certificate, and signed waiver of the right to a secret ballot for each ballot mailing. The registrar and his staff shall take the steps necessary to keep each voted ballot that was transmitted electronically as confidential as practicable.

(ii) The voter may use a separate "Security Envelope" and ballot transmittal envelope from the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot to mail the electronically transmitted presidential preference primary, presidential, congressional primary, or congressional general election ballot or ballots, certificate, and waiver of the right to a secret ballot to the parish registrar of voters for each ballot mailing.

(i) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraphs (a) through (f) of this Paragraph, a voter who is a member of the United States Service or who resides outside the United States and who feels he will not have time to vote timely by mail, may request that the registrar transmit to him by facsimile a ballot, including the certificate, or a second ballot, as the case may be, and the registrar shall do so. The voter may then either mail or transmit by facsimile his voted ballot and certificate back to the registrar at the facsimile machine number designated by the registrar. If the voter chooses to transmit his voted ballot to the registrar by facsimile, the documents to be transmitted shall contain the following statement: "I understand that by faxing my voted ballot I am voluntarily waiving my right to a secret ballot." This statement shall be followed by the voter's handwritten signature, date, and social security number. Upon receipt of the transmittal, the registrar shall place the voted ballot along with the signed statement and certificate in an appropriately marked envelope and seal it. The registrar and his staff shall take the steps necessary to keep the voted ballots received by facsimile as confidential as practicable.

(j)(i) The secretary of state as the chief election officer of the state shall take all actions reasonably necessary to allow members of the United States Service and persons residing outside the United States to vote according to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act or otherwise, whether by mail, facsimile, or other means of transmission of the ballot, notwithstanding any provision of this Code to the contrary.

(ii) The secretary of state as the chief election officer of the state shall take all actions reasonably necessary to allow registered voters who are unable to vote during early voting or at the polling place on election day due to out-of-state work responsibilities relating to a declared emergency to vote, whether by mail, facsimile, or other means of transmission of the ballot.

B. The ballot shall be marked as provided in R.S. 18:1310 and returned to the registrar by the United States Postal Service, a commercial courier, or hand delivery. If delivered by other than the voter, a commercial courier, or the United States Postal Service, the registrar shall require that the person making such delivery sign a statement, prepared by the secretary of state, certifying that he has the authorization and consent of the voter to hand deliver the marked ballot. For purposes of this Subsection, "commercial courier" shall have the same meaning as provided in R.S. 13:3204(D). No person except the immediate family of the voter, as defined in this Code, shall hand deliver more than one marked ballot to the registrar. Upon its receipt, the registrar shall post the name and precinct of the voter as required by R.S. 18:1311.

C. Except as provided in R.S. 18:1308.1(C) and 1311(D)(1) and (5), all ballots received by the registrar by 4:30 p.m. on the day before election day shall be counted.

Acts 1976, No. 697, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1978. Amended by Acts 1977, No. 513, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1978; Acts 1980, No. 506, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; Acts 1981, No. 77, §1, eff. June 26, 1981; Acts 1981, No. 475, §1; Acts 1983, No. 519, §1, eff. July 8, 1983; Acts 1986, No. 425, §1; Acts 1987, No. 831, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1988, No. 909, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, No. 201, §1, eff. July 2, 1991; Acts 1992, No. 438, §1, eff. June 20, 1992; Acts 1993, No. 418, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; 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 2005, No. 220, §4, eff. Jan. 1, 2006; Acts 2006, No. 560, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007; Acts 2009, No. 369, §1; 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 2012, No. 138, §1, eff. May 14, 2012; Acts 2012, No. 140, §1, eff. May 14, 2012; Acts 2013, No. 241, §1, eff. June 12, 2013; Acts 2013, No. 383, §1, eff. June 18, 2013.

NOTE: See Acts 2001, No. 1032, §17.

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