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SPLC: Saturday’s Louisiana Election “Needlessly Exposes People to COVID-19”

NEW ORLEANS - Tomorrow, Louisiana will hold a statewide presidential preference primary and municipal primary election. The following statement is by Caren Short, senior staff attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center

“Tomorrow, Louisiana will hold a primary that needlessly exposes people to COVID-19 in the midst of increasing infections across the Deep South. Louisiana voters will head to the polls because they could not qualify for an absentee ballot, including voters who may have COVID-19, but tested positive or started experiencing systems after the absentee ballot application deadline passed. All these voters must choose between exercising their fundamental right to vote and risking their health, the health of a loved one, or the health of their community. 
 
“It’s clear from the data and every reputable expert that COVID-19 will not disappear by year’s end. Louisiana election officials must ensure that no voter has to choose between their vote and their health in future elections. This means passing an emergency election plan for November and December elections that allows any voter to request an absentee ballot and waives witnessing requirements. Without decisive and immediate action, the health of Louisiana’s residents and its democracy is at stake.”