Louisiana Lags In Voter Registrations From the Poor
Matt | On 14, Jul 2011
Things are getting heated in Louisiana these days as federal officials are throwing a side-eye to the state about its lack voter registrations from the poor.
Here’s the issue. Voter registrations are one of those things that are supposed to be open to the public. You can get them online, a libraries, and even in government offices that provide public assistance (i.e., Medicaid and welfare).
Well, the feds noticed that they were getting next to no voter registrations in from the agencies dealing with the poor. According to Talking Points Memo, only 6,037 (or 1.1 percent) of all the Louisiana voter registration forms came from public assistance offices. There are over 1.17 million people in the state on Medicaid.
The U.S. Justice Department is now suing the state claiming they violated the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. They allegedly have not made all state offices places where people can register, hence the lack of forms they have submitted.
I think this is a really good call from the Justice Department, especially a year out from the election. We take stuff like this for granted because we may be registered to vote. But, there are a lot of people that are not. Voting rates in poorer communities tend to lag behind other areas.
It will be interesting to see how this lawsuit turns out.