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Thursday, January 24, 2013
(New Orleans, LA) – On January 23, voting rights advocates won a major legal victory on behalf of Louisiana’s public assistance agency clients, the state’s most vulnerable and most marginalized residents.
In a 36-page ruling, following a trial in October 2012 in the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana, Judge Jane Triche Milazzo found that the state of Louisiana violated federal law by failing to offer an opportunity to register to vote to all applicants and recipients of food stamps, TANF, Medicaid, and WIC. The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requires that voter registration be offered to all such individuals, whether they seek benefits in person, or by the internet, telephone, or mail.
“Yesterday’s ruling means that Louisiana will finally be required to comply with federal law, and that the state must help our most vulnerable fellow citizens register to vote,” said Dale Ho, assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). “Our democracy is stronger when more Americans are provided with an opportunity to participate.”