Oct. 6 deadline for Louisianians to register to vote in the November election



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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — Louisianians have about a week left to register to vote in the November election. Oct. 6 is the last day to register to vote.

On Nov. 4, voters will choose Democrat U.S. Sen Mary Landrieu or one of her Republican opponents, who include Baton Rouge's U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy and tea party-backed Rob Maness, of Madisonville, in the heated U.S. Senate battle. The race has been identified nationally as one that could ultimately determine whether Democrats maintain control of the Senate.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1vqD4Jf ) more than 90,000 Louisiana residents have sent registration documents to local registrars' offices across the state since Aug. 1. That includes 28,000 valid new voter forms. Another 52,000 were changes to existing voter records, while 10,000 were either invalid or duplicate registrations.

In anticipation of intense outside interest in Louisiana's elections, Secretary of State Tom Schedler said his office reached out to groups that it knew would be working to register voters in Louisiana. He said the interaction has been positive with most groups.

"They keep in constant contact with us," he said.

"Louisiana doesn't have a trove of unregistered voters out there to reach," Schedler said. "The universe of unregistered voters is getting thinner and thinner."

He said he would like for state lawmakers to pass legislation requiring outside groups to register with his office before they can make large-scale voter registration pushes in Louisiana.

"Right now, we have no clue who is out there," he said.

Schedler said one of his concerns is that people don't know what they are getting with an outside registrant. There's no guarantee an in-person registration form will make it to the registrar's office in time, and there's no guarantee that a third-party entity won't gather information in some way, he said.

He said the state has tried to simplify the process. Prospective voters can even register online or check their registration through the secretary of state's website at GeauxVote.com.

"You can do it all through the official way," Schedler said. "You don't have to rely on these groups."


Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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