Today, LDF, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Vermilion NAACP Branch sent a letter to the Abbeville, Louisiana City Council regarding compliance with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and maps currently up for consideration by the Council. The letter urges the City Council to delay adopting a new redistricting plan until it has sought and considered public input. The current method of elections has four single member districts and one at-large district likely violates Section 2 of the VRA and the map the Council plans to consider would preserve that problematic structure. At-large methods of election are often discriminatory because they, in combination with racially polarized voting, prevent voters of color from electing their candidates of choice where they are not the majority in the jurisdiction. Under this system, the votes of voters of color often are drowned out or submerged by the votes of a majority of white voters who often do not support the candidates preferred by Black voters. The City Council must consider its obligations under the Voting Rights Act, including whether it is necessary to eliminate the at-large district and draw a map with a second majority-Black district to provide Black voters with an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. The City Council should eliminate its at-large seat and adopt a map with five districts, with two majority-Black districts.
Read the full letter here.
LDF has been closely monitoring the redistricting processes in Louisiana and other key states to prevent discriminatory redistricting plans and ensure that legislatures comply with their obligations under the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution. Read more about LDF’s redistricting work here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.