LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL) -- With the Nov. 6 elections fast approaching, the deadline to register to vote is also just around the corner. Louisiana law requires voters to be registered 30 days before election day.

Ryan Duplechin may be a little late to the party, but he says his decision to register to vote for the first time this election season was a no-brainer. The 32-year-old truck driver, who could have voted in the last three elections if he had been registered, says starting a family played a factor in his decision.

"I've got a son that's almost two," Duplechin said. "When you have kids, you've got to quit thinking about yourself...I'm sitting here and [I] think, 'What's it going to be like whenever he's older?'"

"In the past, I would say, 'Well it's just one vote. I really don't care.'"

39-year-old Lizette Gauthier is originally from Mexico. She moved to the United States as an exchange student and eventually ended up in Louisiana in 2004 as a legal resident. She paid taxes just like everyone else, she said. But as a physician, she said she was in constant contact with the "under-served."

"I just see more and more and more of people that are just in a bad situation and there's no way out of it," Gauthier said. "So I guess the only way of trying to get these people out of this and getting the people that are in office out of office."

So with that in mind, Gauthier said she pursued citizenship this year simply so she could have the right to vote and try to effect change at the ballot box.

It's not difficult to register, Duplechin and Gauthier said. In fact, they said the process is so easy, there should be no excuse not to register. Duplechin registered online at the Louisiana Secretary of State's website while Gauthier chose to do so at her local courthouse.


Online: Louisiana online registration

In person:
Apply in person to register to vote at any Registrar of Voters office or any of the following sites:
- Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicle offices
- Louisiana Department of Social Services offices and WIC offices, Food Stamp offices, and Medicaid offices
- Offices serving persons with disabilities, such as the Deaf Action Centers and Independent Living offices
- Armed Forces Recruitment offices

By mail/ in writing: Apply by mail by downloading the Louisiana Voter Registration Application form. Complete the form, and return it to your localRegistrar of Voters office.

By fax: Faxed voter registration forms are not accepted.

Other Voter Registration Application Information: Faxed Voter Registration forms are not accepted. The Voter Registration form should be addressed and mailed or hand-delivered to the appropriate Registrar of Voters in the parish in which you are registering.


"I always used to complain," Duplechin said. "A vote is your voice. And if you don't vote, then you don't have a voice, and I'm just realizing that."

For Gauthier, it's more personal.

"This is the land of opportunity," she said. "I'm living proof of that...I became a citizen just to be able to vote."

"If we always get together, then we can make a difference," she said. "Even if it's just one vote at a time, one person at a time, it adds up. And I think we can make a difference."