BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — An emergency proposal to limit the spread of the coronavirus at Louisiana’s polling sites this summer won support from two legislative panels Wednesday.
The House and Senate governmental affairs committees advanced the plan from Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, the state’s election chief. The measure would widen access to absentee ballots, expand early voting schedules and relocate certain polling sites to lessen crowd sizes.
Ardoin’s recommendations would only apply to the July 11 presidential primary and the Aug. 15 municipal ballots. Any changes to the November election would require separate legislative action.
The proposals go next to the full House and Senate. Lawmakers will have until 5 p.m. Monday to vote by either email or fax.
WHO WOULD BE ABLE TO ABSENTEE VOTE?
The plan would expand the reasons to request an absentee — or mail-in — ballot to registered voters who are affected by COVID-19 and are:
- At higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to serious underlying medical conditions as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (including chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, diabetes, severe obesity, chronic kidney disease and undergoing dialysis, livery disease, pregnancy, or immunocompromised due to cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies
- Subject to a medically necessary quarantine or isolation order as a result of COVID-19
- Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns
- Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis
- Caring for an identified individual who is subject to a medically necessary quarantine or isolation order as a result of COVID-19 or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns.
WHEN AND HOW WOULD ABSENTEE VOTERS HAVE TO APPLY?
The deadlines to request an absentee ballot for the July 11, 2020 election are:
- July 7, 2020 for all voters except military, overseas and hospitalized voters
- July 10, 2020 for military, overseas and hospitalized voters
The deadlines to request an absentee ballot for the Aug. 15, 2020 election are:
- Aug. 11, 2020 for all voters except military, overseas and hospitalized voters
- Aug. 14, 2020 for military, overseas and hospitalized voters
Applicants can send their requests to the registrar of voters by mail, fax, hand delivery or electronically through GeauxVote.com.
WHEN WOULD LOUISIANIANS BE ABLE TO EARLY VOTE?
- Early voting for the July 11 election is currently scheduled for June 26 through July 4 (excluding Sunday, June 28 and Friday, July 3)
- Early voting for the Aug. 15 election is currently scheduled for Aug. 1 through Aug. 8 (excluding Sunday, Aug. 2)