The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (“LDF”) sent a letter to Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin urging him to institute emergency election protocols for statewide October and November 2021 elections due to the ongoing pandemic. the Secretary of State is authorized to propose an emergency plan for elections. Secretary Ardoin previously issued an emergency plan, which included expanded absentee voting and mail in voting, for the 2020 elections and for elections in early spring 2021. Governor Edwards renewed the state of emergency in Louisiana in July 2021 due to the rise in Delta variant cases. Secretary Ardoin has yet to issue emergency election protocols for the statewide elections in October and November and early voting begins on September 25.
LDF is asking Secretary Ardoin to:
1) Expand mail-in voting to all voters, or at minimum extend protocol from spring 2021 elections to permit absentee voting for individuals who experience COVID-19 symptoms, are quarantining due to exposure to COVID-19, or are immunocompromised;
2) Provide public guidance on emergency absentee voting qualifications (if absentee voting qualifications are expanded)
3) Extend the absentee ballot return deadline;
4) Expand opportunities for early voting by increasing the number of early voting sites and extending early voting hours;
5) Provide PPE to voters and election workers and encourage mask wearing in polling places
Read the full letter 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.