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Responsive Gov’s Grade TL;DR

The Louisiana Legislature attempted to pass several anti-voter restrictions that Governor Edwards had previously successfully vetoed during the 2022 session. Once again the governor stood up for voters and local election workers and vetoed the bills. Unfortunately, several anti-voter changes were also able to become law, including a constitutional ban on private funding in elections. Therefore, Louisiana received a C- on this year’s progress report.

Looking Back

Where Louisiana Started at the Beginning of 2023

  • Automatic Voter Registration: No
  • Online Voter Registration: DMV ID
  • Same-Day Registration: No
  • Restoration of Rights: 5 Years Post-Release from State Custody
  • Vote by Mail: Excuse-Only
  • Electronic Registration Information Center Member: No
  • Early Voting Opportunities: Regular Ballot Early Voting
  • ID Requirements: ID Requested, but not Required

Relying on the Cost of Voting Index for Louisiana as of 2022, we considered the state a middle tier state for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2023 activity against other middle tier states.

How Our Tier Compares

  • COVI (2022): 31st
  • EPI Score (2020): 42nd
  • CLC State Scorecard (2022): 6/10
  • MAP Democracy Rating (2022): FAIR

2023: This Past Year

Legislative Action

The Legislature passed several small pro-voter reforms into law.

  • H 311 is a constitutional amendment that prohibits the use of private funding for election administration, unless state election laws specifically allow it. Voters opted to enact this constitutional change in October 2023.
  • S 23 removes the ability of local registrars to determine if their office is unsuitable for early voting and designate alternate early vote location. Instead, the secretary of state will decide if the local registrar’s office is appropriate for early voting and the secretary will set any alternate location in the parish if needed.
  • H 216 authorizes service members and dependents stationed in Louisiana to serve as pollworkers even if they are officially residents of another state.

Executive Progress

  • Governor Edwards again successfully vetoed a few anti-voter bills passed by the Legislature, including the following:
    • H 260 would have prohibited local election officials from following any federal directives or guidance or accept or disburse any federal election funds without prior approval from the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget. A similar measure was also successfully vetoed by Governor Edwards last session.
    • H 646 would have required the Department of State to conduct an annual voter list canvass in addition to the yearly canvass already conducted by local registrars of voters. This is the third time this additional annual canvas has been promoted by the secretary of state.