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What you need to know when filling out an absentee ballot before November

Your Local Election HQ

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Early voting for the presidential election begins October 16 in Louisiana and more than 156,000 absentee ballots have already been requested throughout the state.

In Caddo Parish, more than 15,000 people have requested an absentee ballot, in past years only a max of 6,000 absentee ballots were requested.

“In order for your voice to be heard, your vote to be counted, one it’s important that you follow the guidelines and instructions that we have,” said Rachel Brown, an assistant to Caddo Parish Voter of Registrar Dale Sibley.

The same COVID-19 safety precautions put in place back in June will be used for the November election.

Mask wearing, social distancing while waiting in line and casting votes, ID cards placed in plastic bags, and the requirement to sanitize your hands

“We are going to have a controlled environment, this year we actually have some barriers that are built so we’ll have more machines up, so there are barriers in between each of the voting polls.”

If you do not feel comfortable voting in person, you can request a COVID-19 Emergency Absentee Ballot.

“Have a high risk of illness, if you are taking care of somebody who has COVID if your doctor has told you that maybe you don’t need to come out to vote and if you are caring for someone who had COVID, you can request the absentee ballot.”

But when receiving the absentee ballot you have to follow the specific instructions for your vote to be counted.

You will receive the absentee ballot in the mail and you have to fill out the front of the envelope the ballot comes with correctly and verify the information on the front it and make sure you seal it properly.

“This is going to be pre-filled with your information, so you want to verify your precinct and reference number. Then your mother’s maiden name and then your printed name and your signature and of course your witness’s signature, this is important.”

According to Brown anyone can be a witness, but if you sign an “X” for your name you will need to have two witnesses.

“We are going to make voting safe, we’re going to make sure that everything that we do here is accurate, we are going to make sure you’re protected and we’re going to make sure your vote counts.”

Election day is November 3, 2020 and you have until November 2, 2020 to request an absentee ballot.

Once you receive the absentee ballot, you can fill it out and send it right back to the registrar of voters office.

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