Articles about voting issues in Louisiana.

Louisiana: Appeal challenging Louisiana Constitution felon voting rights law taken to state’s high court | The Advocate

A recent appeals court ruling that upheld the constitutionality of a 1976 Louisiana law barring felons on probation or parole from voting was appealed Friday to the state Supreme Court. The filing came eight days after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law a measure that allows people who have been out of prison for five years, but remain on probation or parole, to register to vote. Some 2,000 felons in Louisiana will have their voting rights restored in March as a result of the governor’s signing House Bill 265 into law, which passed during this year’s regular legislative session. Read More

Louisiana: Voting Rights Bill for Some Felons Wins Passage | Associated Press

After years of fighting for the change, an effort to restore the voting rights of thousands of Louisiana’s convicted felons still serving probation and parole was successful Thursday, winning final passage amid cheers, high-fives and hugs. A 54-42 House vote gave final passage to the bill by Rep. Patricia Smith, a Baton Rouge Democrat who had faced repeated defeat for the proposal. The measure squeaked out of the chamber, reaching the governor’s desk with one vote more than it needed. Gov. John Bel Edwards intends to sign the change into law, according to spokesman Richard Carbo. It will take effect on March 1, 2019. Read More

Louisiana: Paroled felons may get voting rights restored | Daily Advertiser

A bill that would restore voting rights to felons on parole who have been out of prison for five years is on its way to the governor’s desk after it passed the Senate Wednesday. The bill passed the Senate 24-13. After failing twice in the House this session, the bill, written by Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, passed the House in a 60-40 vote last week. Louisiana is one of 21 states where felons lose the right to vote for their time in prison and for the duration of their parole. Thirteen other states generally have more restrictive laws than Louisiana, according to a study conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Read More

Louisiana: Senate to decide voting rights bill for ex-felons | Associated Press

A bid to restore voting rights to some of Louisiana’s convicted felons still serving probation and parole neared final legislative passage Monday, in a surprise turnaround after years of defeat. The Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced the measure after senators on the committee spurned a move by Republican Sen. Jim Fannin of Jonesboro to kill the bill. Louisiana’s 1974 constitution allows suspension of voting rights for people who are “under an order of imprisonment” for a felony. A law passed two years later specified that people on probation or parole for a felony are included in that definition, leaving some unable to ever vote again after incarceration. The House-backed proposal would allow someone on probation or parole for a felony to register to vote after being out of prison for five years. Read More

Louisiana: Appeals court won’t rehear Louisiana felon voting rights case | The Advocate

A state appellate court refused on Wednesday to reconsider its April ruling upholding the legality of a 1976 Louisiana law that bars felons on probation and parole from voting. The case now heads to the Louisiana Supreme Court. Felons challenged the state law, claiming it’s unconstitutional and prevents more than 70,000 felons on probation and parole in Louisiana from voting. Bruce Reilly, deputy director of VOTE, said Wednesday the group’s members will do everything in their power to have their right to vote recognized. Read More

Louisiana: Appellate court asked to reconsider legality of 1976 Louisiana felon voting law | The Advocate

A state appeals court in Baton Rouge is being asked to reconsider the constitutionality of a more than four-decade-old Louisiana law that prohibits felons on probation and parole from voting. State District Judge Tim Kelley, of Baton Rouge, upheld the 1976 law in March of last year, saying he agreed with the plaintiffs who challenged its legality but could not bend the law. The plaintiffs — a group called Voice of the Experienced, or VOTE, and several felons — say the law prevents more than 70,000 felons on probation and parole in Louisiana from voting. Read More

Louisiana: Secretary of State quits amid sexual misconduct claim | Associated Press

With calls for his resignation increasing, Louisiana’s secretary of state announced Tuesday that he is leaving his position as state elections chief amid allegations he sexually harassed one of his employees. Secretary of State Tom Schedler said in a letter to the governor that he will be stepping down May 8, becoming the highest-level public official in Louisiana to be felled by sexual misconduct accusations since the #MeToo movement began unseating people in positions of power in Hollywood, the media and government. “I leave office with a heavy heart knowing I have disappointed the people in my life who care for me the most,” Schedler wrote. “But I also have experienced from them the miraculous power of forgiveness and grace during the twilight of my career, and for that I am grateful.” Read More

Louisiana: State officials deny assessment, say they are working to prevent voting interference | The Louisiana Weekly

The Institute for Southern Studies compiled research on states’ election security and concluded that many states, including Louisiana, urgently need to improve. The recommendation follows months of research on the part of federal and state lawmakers as well as voting security experts, who began assessing the vulnerability of election procedures after Department of Homeland Security officials notified 21 states that Russian hackers had attempted to infiltrate their election systems during the 2016 presidential election. In Illinois, hackers successfully accessed voter registration information for tens of thousands of voters. … The Institute’s index includes extensive research from the Center for American Progress, which gave Louisiana a “D” grade for its voting security in an election security report released in February 2018, based in part on the state’s continued use of paperless electronic voting machines. Election security experts recommend that states use machines that create ballots as votes are cast, which can be counted in a post-election audit to detect potential manipulation of votes. Read More

Louisiana: Court: State Can Deny Vote to Felons on Parole | Associated Press

Laws that prohibit felons on parole or probation from voting do not violate Louisiana’s constitution, a state appeal court ruled Friday. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by eight felons and the nonprofit organization Voice of the Ex-Offender. At issue is language in the state constitution guaranteeing the right to vote, but allowing suspension of voting rights for those “under an order of imprisonment” for a felony. The lawsuit claims felons on parole or probation are no longer under an imprisonment order. Read More

Louisiana: House passes bill to restore voting rights back to convicted felons | KALB

Convicted felons who are back in their communities are one step closer toward having their voting rights restored under a bill that passed a House committee on Wednesday. The House and Governmental Affairs Committee voted 7-2 in favor of a bill sponsored by Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, that would allow a felon under community supervision to vote if the individual had not been incarcerated within the past five years. Currently, ex-convicts cannot vote while on probation or parole. Read More