Voting Has Never Been More Crucial

Who Can Vote by Absentee Ballot in Louisiana and How

By C.C. Campbell-Rock
For The New Orleans Tribune

As the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and structural racism disrupt African-American lives across the United States and America burns, we must stay woke. At a time when Black life is threatened by forces seen and unseen, vigilance and action are necessary.

Terrence Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, whose murder by Minneapolis cops sparked a worldwide uprising, recently offered another path to justice, instead of wilding out.’ “Let’s do this a different way. Vote. That’s the way we’re going to hit them. There’s a lot of us….”

That’s solid advice for African-Americans, particularly now; with coronavirus killing us and White people weaponizing white privilege.

In Louisiana, the Presidential Preference Primary and Municipal Primary are set for July 11. The Municipal General Election is set for August 15.

Early voting for the Saturday, July 11, election takes place 9;30 a.m. until 6 p.m. June 20 – July 3 (excluding Sundays), and early voting for the Saturday, August 15 election will be held July 25 – August 8 (excluding Sundays).

Aside from the usual absentee ballot criteria, voters with underlying medical conditions, those in quarantine or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19; people caring for an individual under an isolation order can print out an Emergency Absentee Ballot Application available here, and mail, fax, or hand deliver the form to the parish registrar of voters by June 11. Voters can also request an absentee by mail ballot by logging in to the Louisiana Voter Portal and following the steps listed there.

The deadlines to return a voted absentee ballot for the July 11, election is July 10 at 4:30 PM for general voters and July 11 at 8 PM for military, overseas, and hospitalized voters.

Presidential candidates and candidates for the Democratic Parish Executive Committees (DPEC); the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC), and the Republican Parish Executive Committee (RPEC).Orleans and Judge, 1st City Court, Section B. races are on the July 11 ballot.

Candidates for President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Criminal, Constable, Associate Justice, Louisiana Supreme Court, District 7, Juvenile, Traffic, Municipal, Civil District Court and  Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, Public Service Commission, and Orleans Parish School Board are on the November 3, ballot. The Open General and Congressional Election is December 5.

All elections are important but the President, U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, and the District Attorney can directly impact our lives. U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy and Representatives Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond’s seats are on the ballot.

The District Attorney’s office can help reform Louisiana’s disgraceful criminal justice system. The United States incarcerates more people than any other country, and Louisiana has the second-highest number of prisoners in America.

Voters must choose an Associate Justice for the Louisiana Supreme Court-District 7. Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson, the first African-American and first African-American woman to hold the highest position on court is retiring in December 2020.

Voters should check the to see if their polling place has been moved. In Orleans Parish, the following polling sites will be moved: Mater Dolorosa Church Basement Ward 17 Pct. 2-7, Woldenberg Village Ward 15, Pct.14G, Nazareth Inn Ward 09 Pct. 44A, Guste High Rise, Ward 02, Pct.04. Voters should also check the Inactive Voters List, to see if they have been purged from the rolls. Click here to check your status.

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