BATON ROUGE, La. - The Louisiana Senate Committee on Senate and Governmental Affairs and House Committee on House and Governmental Affairs met today to approve an emergency plan regarding upcoming elections in the state. The following statement is by Terry C. Landry, Jr., Louisiana Policy Director for the SPLC Action Fund:
“Today’s committee-approved plan addressing upcoming election isn’t a plan to protect Louisianans’ health and right to vote. It’s an abdication of the responsibility entrusted in them as public officials and needlessly risks voters’ health. We agree that we urgently need a plan in place for our elections, but the plan approved today doesn’t do enough to shift Louisiana elections’ current trajectory from becoming a future Wisconsin-like debacle.
“In the current public health crisis, Louisianans must have options if they are unable or unwilling to vote in person. After Wisconsin’s elections earlier this month, potentially resulting in new infections of the coronavirus, Louisiana legislators of both parties should be committed to removing restrictions and expanding absentee balloting to all who want it. The Secretary of State’s first plan wasn’t perfect, but it had adequate safeguards to ensure that most Louisiana voters could cast a ballot safely this summer. Instead of building on that plan, senators forced the Secretary to develop a new plan around their unfounded fears that the same voters who elect them and pay their salary would seek to undermine upcoming elections. It’s a plan that endangers people in order to bolster false political rhetoric.”
To view SPLC Action Fund's full written testimony submitted to the committee today, go to: https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/04_21_20_updatedlacovidtestimony.pdf
To view SPLC Action Fund's statement on the emergency plan process last week, go to: https://www.splcenter.org/presscenter/splc-action-fund-louisiana-senate-committee-action-hurtling-state-wisconsin-election