Read a PDF of our statement here.

WASHINGTON – The co-chairs of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Voting Rights Task Force and other organizations issued the following statement on the state of Louisiana’s decision to postpone its presidential primary, originally scheduled for April 4, until June 20:

“The current Coronavirus pandemic presents tremendous challenges to local authorities as they plan for upcoming primary elections – challenges that we are confident they can meet. We all agree that the safety and health of the public is paramount, but steps can, and must be taken to protect voters and poll workers while also ensuring that the democratic process marches ahead.

“Sudden changes to election times, locations, and more have been proven to create barriers to, and in some instances the denial of, citizens their right to vote.  We are concerned about the impact of the decision of the state of Louisiana to move the date of its primary elections. We applaud the approach taken by election officials in Ohio, Arizona, Florida and Illinois to hold their primary elections on March 17th, with proper public health safety measures in place

“The November election is quickly approaching, and it is imperative that the federal government provide the necessary funding and guidance for states to prepare and ensure there are no barriers to the ballot due to COVID-19. All states should have contingency plans in place for additional voting options for the general election that will be held on November 3. Under no circumstances should the November general election be canceled or postponed, as that date is mandated by federal law. Our democracy and our elections have endured in other times of crisis, and we shall again.”

This statement is signed by the following groups (this list will continue to be updated):

  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law*
  • Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund*
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.*
  • 9to5, National Association of Working Women
  • ACLU of Wisconsin
  • African American Ministers In Action
  • AFT
  • Alianza For Progress
  • Alliance for Youth Action
  • American Association of People with Disabilities
  • Arab American Institute
  • Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta
  • Balsz Elementary School District
  • Black Youth Vote
  • Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
  • Campaign Legal Center
  • Center for American Progress
  • Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Center for Popular Democracy
  • Chispa Arizona
  • CLASP
  • Clean Elections Texas
  • Coalition on Human Needs
  • Common Cause GA
  • Common Cause/NY
  • Community Change
  • CPC – Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc.
  • Democracy Initiative
  • Demos
  • Detroit Branch NAACP
  • EARLY MO
  • Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
  • End Citizens United
  • Engage Miami
  • Equal Justice Society
  • Equality California
  • Fair Elections Center
  • FairVote
  • Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO)
  • GLSEN
  • Greenpeace USA
  • Hispanic Federation
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reroductive Justice Agenda
  • Indivisible
  • Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
  • Lambda Legal
  • LatinoJustice PRLDEF
  • League of Conservation Voters
  • Mi Familia Vota
  • Michigan League of Conservation Voters
  • Michigan Voices
  • Misión Boricua
  • Movement Advancement Project
  • Muslim Public Affairs Council
  • NAACP
  • NALEO Educational Fund
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America
  • National Center for Learning Disabilities
  • National Center for Transgender Equality
  • National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
  • National Council of Churches
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
  • National Education Association
  • National Employment Law Project
  • National Fair Housing Alliance
  • National Health Law Program
  • National Immigration Law Center
  • National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
  • National Partnership for Women & Families
  • National Women’s Law Center
  • Native American Rights Fund
  • NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
  • Next Up Oregon
  • North Carolina Asian Americans Together
  • Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy
  • One Arizona
  • People For the American Way
  • People’s Action
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • PolicyLink
  • Pride at Work
  • Progress Now Arizona
  • Progressive Turnout Project
  • SHK Global Health
  • Sierra Club
  • Silver State Equality-Nevada
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Stand Up America
  • State Voices
  • Texas Progressive Action Network
  • The Black Sex Worker Collective
  • The Breakthrough Way
  • The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls
  • The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)
  • UnidosUS
  • Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy
  • United We Dream
  • Verified Voting
  • Voices for Progress
  • We Are All America
  • Women Employed
  • YWCA USA

*Co-chair of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Voting Rights Task Force

BACKGROUND

The groups recommend that states with upcoming primary elections take the following steps to ensure that voters can participate in a safe and fair manner:

  • Follow CDC guidelines and the S. Election Assistance Commission resources for election polling locations
  • Take steps to sanitize polling locations, and voting machines through additional cleaning measures and provision of hand sanitizer to voters and officials
  • Close polling locations in high-risk locations (i.e., assisted living facilities)
  • Encourage and provide a means for all voters to cast a mail-in ballot, and make it easier to do so
  • Prepare for higher rates of mail-in ballot requests and usage
  • Engage in direct voter contact with those impacted by poll closures

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

###

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 TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

0Shares
0 0