Louisiana Democratic Party Statement on Emergency Plan for Elections


Vanessa Ruiz talks to election judges from different precincts of El Paso as they bring in electronic ballots and equipment to the receiving station for El Paso County at the El Paso County Courthouse during the presidential primary in El Paso, Texas on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020. – Fourteen states and American Samoa held presidential primary elections, with over 1,400 delegates at stake. Americans vote Tuesday in primaries that play a major role in who will challenge Donald Trump for the presidency, a day after key endorsements dramatically boosted Joe Biden’s hopes against surging leftist Bernie Sanders. The backing of Biden by three of his ex-rivals marked an unprecedented turn in a fractured, often bitter campaign. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

Baton Rouge, La (04-22-2020) – Wednesday, Louisiana’s House and Senate Governmental Affairs Committees approved an amended emergency plan for elections that reduces voters’ ability to receive an absentee ballot amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The emergency plan was amended to roll back access to vote by mail after Republican lawmakers claimed there was an increased potential of voter fraud. In the 20 years since Louisiana began absentee voting, the state has prosecuted no cases of voter fraud from voting by mail.

“As our state deals with the risks of COVID-19, it is especially critical to provide safe, accessible, and secure voting to all eligible Louisianians. While this election plan is a step in the right direction, it fails to protect election workers and voters in vulnerable populations,” Stephen Handwerk, Executive Director of the Louisiana Democratic Party said. “The fact is, Republicans used debunked claims of voter fraud to deny more Louisianians the ability to vote safely. They failed our state. Nobody should have to choose between their health and their sacred right to vote, and far too many Louisianians will be forced to make that choice.

“We know that when more Louisianians participate in our democracy, our state is better off. I’m proud of our Democratic champions in the legislature who continue to fight to protect our voting rights and our health.” 

The election plan will now move on to the full legislature, which ironically will vote on the proposal by mail. 

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