LOUISIANA'S PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES ARE SATURDAY. Primaries are for the political parties to nominate candidates to be on the fall ballot. Here’s everything you need to know:
Election Day is Saturday, March 5. Poll hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Early voting ended Feb. 27.)
WHAT'S ON THE BALLOT?
WHO CAN VOTE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY?
• Only voters who are registered to one of the two political parties will be able to vote for their party’s nominee because, unlike most elections in Louisiana, the presidential primary is a closed primary.
• In the Democratic Primary, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faces U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, plus a handful of lesser-known candidates. Louisiana has 58 Democratic delegates at stake.
• On the Republican side, 47 delegates are up for grabs. The GOP’s slate of candidates includes businessman Donald Trump, of New York; U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, of Texas, and Marco Rubio, of Florida; Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Dr. Ben Carson.
• The Louisiana Democratic Party and the GOP also will have closed state central committee and parish executive committee elections.
NOT REGISTERED TO ONE OF THE TWO MAJOR PARTIES?
• Voters who aren’t party affiliated may still have local elections to vote in.
• According to the Secretary of State’s Office, parishes with open local races include: Acadia, Beauregard, Caddo, Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberville, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Red River, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and West Baton Rouge.
ANYTHING ELSE TO CONSIDER?
“This is an election where voters should absolutely check to see what’s on their ballot before they go vote,” Secretary of State Tom Schedler said in statement. “Louisiana has a large number of unaffiliated or no party voters who aren’t eligible to participate in the (presidential primary), but should vote in any local elections for their area.”
BRING A VALID ID
The Louisiana secretary of state’s election division offers the following guidance on casting a ballot:
• When you go to the polls to cast your vote in an election, be sure to take one of the following: Driver’s license, Louisiana Special ID or some other generally recognized picture ID that contains your name and signature.
• If you do not have a driver’s license, Louisiana Special ID or some other generally recognized picture ID that contains your name and signature, you may still cast your vote by signature on a voter affidavit.
• You can get a free Louisiana Special ID at the Office of Motor Vehicles by showing your voter information card. If you have misplaced your voter information card, contact your registrar of voters for a new one or print your own by logging into the “Louisiana Voter Portal” as a voter. Click the “Voter Registration” tab at the top then click the “Print Voter Information” link located on the ribbon on the left-hand side.
• Any problems or questions can be addressed at the principal office of the registrar of voters in each parish.