NOW is the time to register to vote, check your voter registration status, register your new address or any other voter registration business. We have a very busy election season approaching and YOUR VOTE is extremely important. First up, is the Governor's race.

Head to your local Registrar of Voters Office, Lake Charles Office - 1000 Ryan St # 7, Lake Charles, LA 70601, (337) 721-4000 or download the GEAUX VOTE App and register to vote online.

***Deadline To Register To Vote: Wednesday September 11 (in-person and mail) or Saturday September 21 (online)***

Early voting starts September 28 through Oct. 5 from 8:30 a.m.- 6 p.m.
The deadline to request an absentee by mail ballot is Oct. 8 by 4:30 p.m. You can request an absentee by mail ballot online or in writing.
The deadline for a registrar of voters to receive a voted mail ballot is Oct. 11 by 4:30 p.m. (other than military and overseas voters).

This year voting rights have been restored to a convicted felons upon completion of his or her sentence. As of March 1, 2019 in Louisiana about 36,000 felons will have the opportunity to register to vote and participate in this and very important future elections.

In addition according to the new state law most felons on probation, and those who've been on parole for five years, are also eligible to vote.

The upcoming Louisiana Gubernatorial Primary Election will take place on Saturday October 12, 2019, if need be a runoff election will take place November 16. The states current Democratic, Governor John Bel Edwards, is running for re-election and hoping voters will come out and elect him to a second term. This election is part of the Louisiana's Jungle Primary System or Open Primary Election. All this means is, regardless of their party all candidates will be on the same ballot, and all voters regardless of their party affiliation, can vote for any candidate.

In addition voters will go on to decide on statewide officials, various municipal officials, as well as vote on four Louisiana Constitutional Amendments. In certain parishes some voters will decide on various local and parishwide propositions.

Candidates running against Governor John Bel Edwards are as follows:

Democrat - Omar Dantzler, former police officer and businessman
Independent - Gary Landrieu, businessman and perennial candidate
Republican - Ralph Abraham, incumbent U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 5th congressional district
Republican - Patrick Landry, artist and perennial candidate
Republican - Eddie Rispone, industrial contracting CEO and Republican donor

KPEL965.com/Ballotpedia did a great job explaining the Constitutional Amendments that Louisiana residents will be voting on. Below is a look at what the outcome will be with a vote FOR or AGAINST each amendment:

1.) Louisiana New Orleans Affordable Housing Property Tax Exemption Amendment -

A vote FOR - supports allowing New Orleans, Louisiana, to exempt properties with no more than 15 residential units from taxes for the purpose of, according to the amendment, promoting and encouraging affordable housing.

A vote AGAINST - opposes this amendment to allow New Orleans, Louisiana, to exempt properties with no more than 15 residential units from taxes.

2.) Louisiana Property Tax Exemption for Stored Materials Routed for Outer Continental Shelf Amendment

A vote FOR - supports extending an ad valorem tax exemption to property being stored in Louisiana but destined for the Outer Continental Shelf.

A vote AGAINST - opposes extending this ad valorem tax exemption to property stored in Louisiana but destined for the Outer Continental Shelf, thereby leaving the exemption for property in transit to another state or for export outside of the U.S. but not applying it to property routed for the Outer Continental Shelf.

3.) Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals Jurisdiction Amendment

A vote FOR - supports this amendment to do the following:
allow the legislature through a two-thirds vote to give the Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals jurisdiction over the constitutionality of taxes, fees, and related matters;
require prompt recovery by taxpayers of any unconstitutional tax paid;
establish authority for the board in the state constitution, subject to changes made by laws passed by a two-thirds vote in the legislature;
state in the constitution that the Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals has jurisdiction over any disputes concerning state and local taxes, fees, or other claims against the state.

A vote AGAINST - opposes this amendment to add constitutional provisions concerning the Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals, thereby leaving in place the board's existing authority over certain state and local tax disputes according to statute.

4.) Louisiana Education Excellence Fund Uses Amendment

A  vote FOR - supports allowing for appropriations from the Education Excellence Fund (EEF) to the Louisiana Educational Television Authority (LETA), Thrive Academy, and laboratory schools operated by public colleges.

A vote AGAINST - opposes this constitutional amendment, thus preventing appropriations from the EEF to the LETA, Thrive Academy, and laboratory schools operated by public colleges.

See what's on YOUR BALLOT.  Remember....in order to change our leadership, we must participate in the voting process. If we do nothing, NOTHING will ever change. VOTE!