LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- While most voters stand in long lines to cast their ballots some are choosing a different option. Lafayette parish has over 9,000 absentee ballots this year.
Lafayette Registrar of Voters Charlene Meaux-Menard says the mail-in ballot has to be requested by the voter.
“A general application has 12 reasons that you can apply for the application. You have to be qualified for that. We do have the COVID app and there’s no question asked we have to honor that through the HIPPA laws,” Menard said.
Menard says voters should fully complete their ballots before mailing them off. She says this includes using two postage stamps on the envelope, If not, ballots are returned to the registrar of voters office with added charges. She says if the proper steps are not followed, voters will be asked to “cure” their ballots.
“We have ballots that get returned to us either missing a mother’s maiden, name on their voter’s signature and a witness to the voters signature, or a combination of the three, or the whole flap is missing,” Menard said. “So we have to write a letter to the voter for them to come to secure their ballot.”
Menard says any voters who have already voted by mail cannot vote in person.
“It is logged into our computer system that ballot has come back. So what it is if you go to vote and I can go verify that it’s there. To go try to vote in person it’s against the law if you have voted.
She says the registrar of voters office won’t have a mail-in ballot drop box until the day after early voting. However, voters are allowed to hand-deliver their ballots.
“We will provide a dropbox for residents. It will be downstairs for them to drop their ballot off,” Menard said. “If they’re dropping off more than one ballot it has to be an immediate family member dropping off the ballot. That person has verification that they have permission from that voter.”