The state National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Department of Justice said Louisiana isn’t doing enough to register minority and low-income citizens. Both groups have sued the state in federal court.
“The allegation is that the Department of Health and Hospitals and Social Service personnel, the Department of Children and Families, did not offer on a routine basis, at least on the secret shopper interviews, the voter registration application,” said Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Shedler.
NAACP attorney Ronald Wilson said, “Given the widespread noncompliance that we’ve observed, it came as little surprise that the Justice Department would also determine that the state is out of compliance with federal law.”
At St. Tammany Parish, registration signs were posted all over the state Medicaid office. “We’re talking about individuals, that it’s not their primary job that they have to do, but that’s the federal law and we’ll comply with it. But we think that we are being inordinately attacked on this,” Shedler said.
Schedler said since the suit was filed, efforts have been redoubled to train and coordinate registration efforts. He said the federal numbers must be skewed because Louisiana actually ranks fourth in America in signing up eligible voters.