Voting has changed a lot since I first started doing it back in the 1980s. I mean the act of choosing a candidate or an issue to support or not support hasn't changed but the process by which ballots are turned in certainly is a lot different.

I seem to recall in my early voting years that it was much tougher to get an absentee ballot than it is now. And I don't know if you could vote by mail, maybe you could, but I never did. I always wanted to exercise my rights in person.

But this isn't 1980, it's 2020 and we have a pandemic and a lot of people simply don't want to be around crowded polling places come November 3rd. If that's you, then you'll want to watch this short video presentation featured on the Louisiana Secretary of State's website. 

The video basically explains what to be looking for in the mail and what to do when you get your ballot in the mail. Like a lot of things that are government-related, there is a lot of paperwork.

In your ballot package, you should receive a return envelope, an affidavit envelope, and your ballot. The ballot part is pretty straight forward. You'll fill out your ballot using a black or blue ink pen or a standard pencil. The ballot will remind you of taking standardized tests back in your school days. You'll fill in the circle completely located by your choice. Don't make an "x" and don't use a checkmark.

Be sure you read your ballot instructions completely as some races will allow you to make more than one selection in certain races.

Once you have completed your ballot it will go inside the affidavit envelope. That envelope has a form printed on the outside. You will need to fill that out completely and you'll also need to have a witness sign the affidavit for you too. Do NOT detach the affidavit from the envelope. It's got to stay intact for your vote to count.

Once the affidavit has been filled out you will then place the ballot in the return envelope provided. This should have the address of your Parish Registrar of Voters Office. Place the proper postage on the envelope and then drop it in the mail or if you want to hand-deliver your ballot to the Registrar of Voters Office you can do that too.

No, you don't have to drop your ballot in a "special mailbox". Your regular outside mailbox will do fine or you can drop your ballot at the post office. Again if you're really paranoid that your vote will be compromised then you'll want to drop your ballot off with the Registrar of Voters Office or just suck it up and go vote in person.

Regardless, go vote. You can find out more about the process and see a sample of your ballot for where you live at GEAUXVOTE.com. That's the website from the Secretary of State's Office.