TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2022
Remember me:
Just Anticorruption
DOJ Sues Louisiana Over Voter Registration Access for Disabled, Low-Income Residents
By Colin Ross | July 13, 2022 11:39 am

The Justice Department is suing the state of Louisiana for failing to provide voter registration opportunities for citizens with low incomes and disabilities.

The department’s Civil Rights Division filed the complaint Tuesday and alleges the disabled and poor in Louisiana were not offered chances to register as voters when they dealt with the state’s public assistance agencies. Under Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, those agencies must assist in voter registration in addition to more direct assistance.

The suit wants Louisiana officials to admit that they violated the law and then develop a compliance plan.

Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, whose voting section is handling the case, said in a statement: “The voting process begins with registration. Therefore, it is essential that all citizens have unfettered access to voter registration opportunities.”

A spokesman for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) did not immediately return a request for comment.

The DOJ’s lawsuit comes at a time when voter registration has become a contentious issue. Some states have passed voter identification laws intended to root out voter fraud, but Democrats are arguing that such efforts have the actual effect of disenfranchising many voters, including some, notably low-income voters, similar to the ones from which Louisiana is now accused of withholding the vote. Democrats have even accused Republicans of championing the voter ID laws as a way of keeping Democratic voters from the polls.

The lawsuit is also the latest example of the Civil Rights Division bringing a case against a state, which is a familiar tactic. The division sued New York last year to make sure absentee military ballots were counted. And since 2010, the DOJ has also sued New Jersey, Arizona, California, threatened to sue Virginia and entered into a memorandum of understanding with Colorado late last month.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

"The goal should not be maximum recovery. I’m not sure we should be bragging about how many millions of dollars we’ve gotten from pharmaceutical companies." – Laurence Freedman of Patton Boggs LLP, a former assistant director of the DOJ's Civil Fraud Section, on the proliferation of pricey settlements in health care fraud and abuse enforcement.