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May 4 / Project Vote

Federal Judge Rules that Louisiana Must Offer Voter Registration to Public Agency Clients

Voting rights advocates won an important legal victory that will ensure that Louisiana’s public assistance agency clients—the state’s poorest and most marginalized residents—will be offered an opportunity to register to vote.

In a forceful decision, a federal judge ruled in favor of the Louisiana State Conference of the NAACP that Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) requires that all public assistance clients must be provided with a voter registration application, whether they seek benefits in person or by the Internet, telephone and mail.  Louisiana argued that its public assistance agencies were only required to offer voter registration to those clients who appeared in person.

“The court’s ruling will ensure that low-income individuals will not be denied voter registration services because of advancing technology,” said Sarah Brannon, director of the Public Agency Voter Registration Program at Project Vote. “The court recognized that the mandates of the NVRA are not limited to in-person visits to public assistance offices.”

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Louisiana State Conference of the NAACP and an individual client of the state’s public assistance agencies.  The Plaintiffs are represented by the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., Project Vote, and New Orleans Attorney Ron Wilson. Read more.

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