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Everything you need to know about Louisiana’s primaries — in one place


A poll worker waits for voters on Election Day at the Martin Luther King Elementary School in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward in 2022.


The primary election is nearly upon us in Louisiana — and with it, candidates up and down the ballot vying for voters’ attention.


Primary day — when voters narrow down the list of candidates to the top two people they want to see on the ballot in the general election in November — is on Saturday, Oct. 14. But early voting has already begun in Louisiana.


Here’s a guide to help you navigate the primary season.


  • What will be on my primary ballot?

  • What will votes cast in the primary determine?

  • How can I find out if I'm registered to vote?

  • What can I bring to the polling place?

  • What if I'm not available to vote on primary day (Oct. 14)?

  • Where can I learn more about the races and issues on my primary ballot?

    • Constitutional amendments

    • Governor

    • Secretary of state

    • Attorney general

    • Treasurer

    • Local races

  • What about the races with only one candidate?

What will be on my primary ballot?

Voters in several localities will be asked to consider local matters — and statewide, voters will be asked to consider four potential amendments to the state constitution, each of which requires a majority vote at the polls to be implemented.

This is a big year for statewide and local offices, too, as several are on the ballot:

  • Statewide: Governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasury secretary, attorney general

  • Locally: The specific races vary by location, but many voters will see state representatives, sheriffs, school board members, clerks and other public officials on the ballot.

See a sample ballot: The Secretary of State’s website has a tool that allows voters to preview their ballots ahead of Election Day, down to the precinct level. Just select your parish and precinct information, and you’ll see which races and questions will be included on your ballot when you go to vote. | Find your ballot


What will votes cast in the primary determine?

Louisiana has an open primary, which means voters will be asked to choose the candidates they want to see on the ballot in the November general election.

The two candidates with the largest percentages of votes in each contest will land on the November ballot — unless a single candidate garners more than 50% of the votes. In such a situation, that person would be automatically declared the winner.


How can I find out if I'm registered to vote?

Louisianans can check their registration status at the secretary of state’s website and on geauxvote.com.

The registration deadline for the primary has already passed, so if you're not registered, you won't be able to vote in the primary.

But the general election is coming up — on Saturday, Nov. 18 — and you still have time to register to vote:

  • Oct. 18 is the deadline for registering in person or by mail

  • Oct. 28 is the deadline for registering online

Check the requirements for each method before you register. Eligible Louisianans who have a Louisiana driver's license or state ID can register online — but if you don't have either of those, you'll likely need to register in person, with an alternate form of identification.

What can I bring to the polling place?

If you have registered to vote, you should have received a voter card in the mail, listing the personal information you included in your registration application, and listing your polling location. You don’t need to bring the voter card with you when you go to the polls, but you will need to bring some form of photo identification.


Joel Watson Jr., Louisiana’s Deputy Secretary of State for Outreach, said the wait times at polling places in Louisiana tend to be relatively short — it usually takes just a few minutes to get in and cast your ballot. And to make voting even smoother, he said you can print out sample ballots from the Secretary of State’s website to bring in with you — or bring your phone into the voting booth, if you need it for reference.



What if I'm not available to vote on primary day (Oct. 14)?

You're in luck! In Louisiana, we have a week of early voting, when any eligible voter can show up to a designated early voting spot and cast their ballot.


Early voting in the primaries began Saturday, Sept. 30 — and lasts until Saturday, Oct. 7.

Polls are open from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day of early voting — but closed on Sunday, Oct. 1.


Louisianans don’t need a reason to vote early; any registered voter may choose to do so.

One thing to note if you're planning to participate in the early voting period: The state has set up dozens of early voting locations throughout Louisiana, and you'll have to vote in one of those — which might not be your regular polling place.


Parishes are operating designated early polling places for early voting now. (Find yours here.)


Where can I learn more about the races and amendments on my primary ballot?


Constitutional amendments

Voters statewide will be asked to consider four potential amendments to the state constitution, each of which requires a majority vote at the polls to be implemented.

The nonpartisan Public Affairs Research Council published a new guide to the proposed amendments that voters will decide on this fall:

  • CA No. 1 (ACT 200, 2023 - HB 311) — Prohibits the use of private funds in the administration of elections.

  • CA No. 2 (ACT 30, 2023 - SB 63) — Provides that the freedom of worship is a fundamental right worthy of the highest protection.

  • CA No. 3 (ACT 107, 2023 - HB 47) — Dedicates certain payments to be applied to the state retirement system unfunded accrued liability.

  • CA No. 4 (ACT 48, 2023 - HB 46) — Restricts ad valorem tax exemptions for certain nonprofit organizations.

Voters can dive into the full guide to the four amendments in the primary — as well as four proposed amendments that will be on the general election ballots in November — or browse a one-page version.


Governor

This spring and summer, all of the major candidates for governor have appeared on Louisiana Considered, talking with hosts about what they see as the top issues facing the state — and how they would address them:

  • State Sen. Sharon Hewitt — Republican

  • Jeff Landry, Louisiana’s current attorney general — Republican

  • Hunter Lundy, attorney — Independent

  • John Schroder, Louisiana’s current state treasurer — Republican

  • Stephen Waguespack, former CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry — Republican

  • Shawn Wilson, former Louisiana Secretary of Transportation and Development —Democrat

Earlier this campaign season, we pulled together a roundup of the then-seven major candidates and where they stand on top issues facing the state. Since the roundup was published, Republican state Rep. Richard Nelson dropped out of governor’s race — though, because of the timing of his departure, you'll still see his name on the ballot.


In total, 16 candidates qualified to run for governor in August, so all of their names will be on the ballot. Qualifying to become an official candidate entails filing paperwork and paying a fee. You can browse all the candidates on the Secretary of State's elections portal.


Secretary of State

Eight candidates are vying to replace Kyle Ardoin, who is not running for reelection as secretary of state:

Mike Francis, who represents District 4 on the state's Public Service Commission — Republican

  • Gwen Collins-Greenup, a Baton Rouge attorney who ran for the role in 2019 — Democrat

  • Thomas Kennedy, a retired real estate developer — Republican

  • Nancy Landry, a former state representative and the current first assistant secretary of state — Republican

  • Arthur Morrell, a former state representative who served 16 years as a clerk of court in New Orleans — Democrat

  • Clay Schexnayder, Louisiana’s current Speaker of the House — Republican

  • Amanda Smith-Jennings, a paralegal — no listed party

  • Brandon Trosclair, a grocery store owner and political newcomer — Republican

Louisiana's secretary of state is responsible for business filings, notaries and, most prominently, running elections and the voting process.

The state Legislature passed a law in 2021 that bans the voting machines currently used in the state, and requires Louisiana to implement a new system, with a paper trail. It will be up to the next secretary of state to choose and implement the new system.



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