Louisiana does well in voting ease study

The American Press

Making voting more convenient should be the goal of every state in the union, and Louisiana has done a better job than most Southern states. However, the Brennan Center for Justice said over the last few years new restrictions on voting have become popular across the country.

Since 2010, 24 states have enacted limitations on voting, according to a report in The Times-Picayune. Tougher voter ID requirements have been put in place by 13 states, 11 have made it harder to register to vote and 7 have cut back on early voting opportunities.

Voter fraud is the excuse states use for tightening voting restrictions, but it has been difficult for most of them to produce concrete evidence that voter fraud is widespread. Opponents say Republicans favor more restrictions to suppress voter turnout by groups that typically vote for Democrats.

Among conservative states making it more difficult for people with criminal convictions to get their voting rights restored, Louisiana was again an exception. The Legislature passed a law taking effect March 1, 2019, that says those individuals will have their voting rights restored after a five-year trial period.

Tom Schedler, the former secretary of state who resigned over sexual harassment allegations, made voting easier rather than seeking more voting restrictions. He made it easier for voters to register online and made mail-in voting more available.

The Brennan report said Louisiana, Delaware, Kentucky and Maryland are the only states in the South that haven’t enacted new voting restrictions. It added that Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas — three of Louisiana’s neighbors — will have stricter voter identification laws in place this fall than they did in the 2016 presidential elections.

Northern Illinois University looked at 35 different factors involved in the time and effort it takes to vote and Louisiana ranked 20th among all 50 states. Voting registration ease and early voting access were two of those factors.

Louisiana scored the highest, by a large margin, of any state in the Deep South. Texas was 46th, Alabama 39th and Arkansas 34th. No early voting takes place in Mississippi, and it was dead last.

Some additional improvements like more early voting time may be needed, but the Brennan Center for Justice report confirms that Louisiana is doing its part to make voting easier and more convenient.

l

This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Crystal Stevenson, John Guidroz, retired editor Jim Beam and retired staff writer Mike Jones.

Crime

UPDATE: Moss Bluff man resentenced in death of CrossFit runner

Local News

Governor, DOTD celebrate substantial completion of I-10 widening project

Crime

State Police investigating officer-involved shooting in LC

Local News

High probability of tropical development in southern Gulf of Mexico

Local News

West Nile Virus reported in Big Lake area

Crime

Texas teenager charged in Vinton nightclub shooting

life

Work of LC native Foad Satterfield on display in New York’s Malin Gallery

Local News

Calcasieu Police Jury targeting blighted properties

Local News

Jeff Davis School Board agrees to one-time pay supplement for employees

Local News

Mayor gives two-year post-Hurricane Laura update

life

Local bakery giving away 250 bundtlets on Sept. 1

Local News

$3M more in FEMA money to be dedicated to Iowa, LaGrange high school repairs

Local News

Allen Parish a top district for one-year growth on LEAP test

Local News

OLQH students gather for long-standing tradition

life

Monica Smith’s teaching career began with Tiny Steps

Local News

Pro Watercross: National championships return to LC this weekend

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:What’s latest on our voting?

Crime

LaGrange student arrested for bringing gun to school

life

Mom’s school lunches look complicated, but they’re not

Local News

Entergy customers will pay $3.2 billion to reimburse company for repair costs

Local News

United Way to open Entergy Utility Assistance Program Wednesday

Local News

Low potential for tropical cyclone development in southwest Gulf

Crime

8/16: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Elton water services to be shut off at 4 p.m. today