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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

La. sued for disenfranchising minority and low-income voters

Monday, May 16, 2011

Louisiana is being sued for alleged non-compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc. (LDF), Project Vote and several private persons.

The lawsuit, filed on April 19, alleges Louisiana has failed to give ample opportunity for low-income and minority voters to register by failing to follow the required procedures outlined in the NVRA.

“The NVRA has been in effect in Louisiana since 1995,” said, Nicole Kovite Zeitler, director of the public agency voter registration program for the Washington, DC-based Project Vote. “The act requires the agency give out a voter registration form with every application for benefits, recertification of benefits and change of address.”

Project Vote, a nonprofit organization dedicated to equal voting rights for all citizens, and the LDF, an organization dedicated to fighting for racial justice, are defenders of the NVRA in states where it is not upheld.

And, according to Zeitler, the state of Louisiana has failed to do so, which is immediately reflected in the rapidly decreasing number of low-income voters, an 88 percent drop since the law was passed in 1995.

“By failing to comply with the National Voter Registration Act, Louisiana is denying minority and low-income voters across the state equal access to the ballot box,” said Dale Ho, Assistant Counsel with LDF’s Political Participation Group, according to a press release

Read the full article here.