Louisiana Student Voting Guide

Registration Deadline

Voter Registration Deadline: 30 days before the election

Online voter registration, voter registration forms, polling place locations, and more information can be found at geauxvote.com

 What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?

Louisiana’s paper voter registration form asks for your Louisiana driver’s license or ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number. If you have none of these and you are registering to vote for the first time, you must attach either a copy of a current and valid photo ID or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address. Note that online voter registration requires that you have a state-issued ID, either a Louisiana driver’s license or special ID card. Failure to provide this information could lead to you having to show additional identification when you vote that shows your picture or your name and address. Make sure to provide this information on the registration form so the state can verify your identity and you don’t run into issues when you cast your ballot. NOTE: Foreign-born U.S. citizens will be sent a letter requiring them to come into the parish registrar’s office and show proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a certificate of naturalization or citizenship.

Register at School or Home?

Students have a choice about where to register to vote.

School address:

  • Students attending college in Louisiana may register at their school address. You must plan to return after temporary absences, like summer break, but do not have to plan to reside at that address permanently.

Permanent address:

  • Students may choose to register or remain registered at a permanent address in Louisiana or outside the state. In this case, students may need to vote by absentee ballot.

You may only be registered and vote in one location.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

Poll workers will ask in-person voters to show a photo ID, but if you do not have one, you may sign an Identification Affidavit instead. Acceptable forms of ID include a Louisiana driver’s license, a Louisiana special identification card or other generally recognized picture identification card that contains the name and signature of the applicant.

Where Do I Vote?

  • Polling place locator online at https://voterportal.sos.la.gov/ through.
  • If your name does not appear in the voter rolls and you believe that you registered properly, ask the poll worker for help finding your precinct or call your parish registrar; a list is located at http://www.sos.la.gov/ElectionsAndVoting/Vote/Pages/RegistrarAddresses.aspx. If you still have a problem at the polling place, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot. If you are in the parish where you are registered but not at the precinct which you’ve been assigned, you’ll be given a provisional ballot with federal contests only. Sometimes there are multiple precincts in one polling place, so confirm your precinct ahead of time and get in the correct line!

How Can I Vote?

Vote absentee by mail

  • Louisiana voters may vote absentee upon request, but they need to identify the reason they are voting absentee. Students living outside their parish of registration and voting for the first time in Louisiana must provide a copy of their student ID card or fee bill with the absentee ballot application.
  • Louisiana voters can request an absentee ballot at any time up until 4:30 p.m. on the fourth day before the election. You can return the voted ballot by mail or by handing it in to a parish election official by 4:30 p.m. the day before the election.
  • Always be sure that your ballot is sealed in its signed return envelope. Check everything carefully before putting it in the mail. If you’re handing it in personally, ask the election official if everything is complete. If someone drops off the ballot for you, that person must be a family member and must also sign a statement prepared by the Louisiana Secretary of State. Lack of signatures or an unsealed envelope could result in your ballot not being counted.

Early In Person

All registered voters may vote early at the parish registrar’s office or at an alternate early voting site. You do not need a reason to vote early. The early voting period is from fourteen days to seven days before the election, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Sundays and holidays.

On Election Day

The polls are open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. for primary and general elections, and between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. for Congressional primary elections and all other elections held on the same date.

Will voting in Louisiana affect my federal financial aid?

Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants and Perkins or Stafford loans or your dependency status regarding FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). 

Does being an out-of-state student for tuition purposes affect my right to vote in my college community?

No. You may choose to vote in your college community or back home regardless of your tuition status.

Will I lose my scholarship if I register to vote in Louisiana?

Generally, no. If you receive scholarship money from a state, county, town, or a private entity (i.e., an entity other than the federal government) you should confirm that residency in a particular place is not a requirement of the scholarship and/or that voter registration in Louisiana will not affect your eligibility. 

Will registering to vote in Louisiana affect my driver’s license or car registration?

If you intend to drive in Louisiana, you must get a Louisiana driver license within 30 days. For more information, contact the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles. 

Will registering to vote in Louisiana prevent my parents from claiming me as a dependent on their taxes?

No. Students are often told that registering to vote in a different state from their parents will make them lose their dependency status. This is not true. Where you register to vote will have no effect on your parent’s tax status. 
This Guide was prepared by FELN staff who are not licensed to practice law in Louisiana and FELN intends that the information contained herein is used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed Louisiana legal professional.

Last updated June 2016