How to: Verify ballot mailed in was received by the state

Updated: Jun. 23, 2020 at 7:35 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Guess it’s one of the perks of getting older-- the ability to vote by mail in Louisiana, starting at age 65.

Attorney Carla Chrisco says it’s a great convenience.

“Since I usually vote early voting it will save me from having to go up to the courthouse and waiting in a line that’s sometimes 40 to 50 people ahead of me, especially with the virus, going on. You don’t want to stand in line. It’s impossible to social distance,” she said.

Chrisco says some of her friends were hesitant to request a paper ballot because they’re afraid it could get lost on the way back. But she discovered voters can verify online at the Secretary of State web site that their ballot has been received. Just put your name in where it says search by voter and click on “check absentee ballot status” from the choices.

“Say election morning they haven’t received it, then I can actually go to my old polling place and vote,” she explained.

Calcasieu Registrar of Voters Kim Fontenot does asks voters who think their ballot is lost, to call first.

“You need to call us first and let us verify, because we have a system that will let us go back and check. So, we can verify and if we find that no the ballot was not returned, they are more than welcome to vote at the polling place,” she explained.

And Chrisco is pleased that once you are on the list, your mail-in ballot comes automatically for future elections.

“I’ll be sure to know when elections are coming up because sometimes, they have property tax elections and things, you don’t even know that they’re there and so this will remedy that,” said Chrisco.

Not everyone can vote by mail, though Chrisco hopes that will change. The complete list of those eligible is on the Louisiana Secretary of State elections page.

Louisiana’s next election is Saturday, July 11th which is the presidential preference primary.

In Calcasieu, there’s also renewal of a police jury sales tax for those who live outside the cities.

Early voting in-person continues through July 4th.

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