Louisiana Governor Signs Two More Voter Suppression Laws

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry (R) signed bills last week that require proof of citizenship to register to vote and establish procedures to remove people from voter registration lists.

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry (R) speaks during a session in the state House Chamber. (Michael Johnson/The Advocate via AP, Pool, File)

Starting on Jan. 1, 2025, Senate Bill 436 will require people to include proof of citizenship with their voter registration applications, which would not just prevent noncitizens from voting, but also could stop numerous eligible citizens who do not have access to proof of citizenship documents from voting.

In fact, one in 10 voting-age citizens in the U.S. cannot easily access these documents, according to a new survey. This impacts minority voters the most, the survey adds. 

The effects of this law will be seen on a large scale in the 2026 midterm elections as many eligible voters may not be able to participate, and voter registrations could decrease.

Also, under the status quo, each county’s registrar of voters, which are part of the Department of State, are required to conduct an annual canvass of registered voters no later than June 30 to update voter registration records. If a voter’s address is not verified, the registrar of voters must send an address confirmation notice to the voter and move their name to the inactive voter list.

Starting on March 31, 2025, House Bill 114 will require the Department of State to also identify registered voters who have not corrected their address and — over the past 10 years — have not participated in an election, updated their registration information or taken other specified actions. The secretary of state must then send them an address confirmation notice and remove them from voter rolls.

Several right-wing organizations, like the Public Interest Legal Fund (PILF), have filed lawsuits in states across the country trying to remove people from voter registration lists, which could disenfranchise numerous eligible voters.

Landry’s signing of these two new bills on June 11 follows the passage of seven other voter suppression bills in the state last month.

Original post, June 4

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry (R) signed seven anti-voter bills in the last couple of weeks, and four more are awaiting his signature.

Louisiana Secretary of State Nancy Landry (R) released a statement on Monday thanking the governor and state legislators for advancing and passing the bills in the “Department of State’s Election Integrity Legislative Package.”

She said these bills “will help Louisiana continue on the path to being ranked first in the nation in election integrity.”

On May 24, Gov. Landry signed House Bill 285, which requires the secretary of state’s office to create an election integrity division to perform many duties, including “conducting independent investigations into allegations of election irregularities.” 

Then on May 28, he signed six more election-related bills, including four that address absentee and mail-in ballots. 

House Bill 476 restricts people from delivering more than one absentee ballot via mail unless they are sending ballots on behalf of immediate family members. Louisiana Rep. Wilford Carter (D) called this a “voter suppression bill” on the House floor.

Senate Bill 155 only allows individuals to assist with more than one absentee ballot if they are helping immediate family members.

Senate Bill 218 requires someone assisting a voter to provide their address and relationship to the voter and reveal if they were paid to assist. It also mandates that someone can only submit more than one application to vote by mail if they are submitting for an immediate family member(s).

Disability rights advocates have filed lawsuits against similar laws in other states, like Ohio and Mississippi, explaining that these provisions make it harder for people with disabilities who can’t mail or fill out their own ballots to exercise their right to vote.

Then, under Senate Bill 226, an absentee ballot that is missing information and is not fixed by the voter is considered a challenged ballot that is only counted if the majority of the election board decides it should be. 

The other two bills signed on May 28 hit on different election issues. Senate Bill 449 defines a qualified voter or elector as “a person who has the proper qualifications provided by law to be entitled to vote and who is lawfully registered to vote,” and Senate Bill 101 bans ranked-choice voting in Louisiana elections.

Then, on Sunday, two bills officially passed the Senate: House Bill 506, which requires individuals and entities to register with the Secretary of State before conducting voter registration drives, and House Bill 581, which criminalizes being a witness on more than one absentee ballot for non-immediate family members and requires witnesses to provide their mailing address.

Within the last few days, two bills were sent to the governor’s desk, including House Bill 114, which creates new procedures for maintaining active voter lists and specifies conditions under which individuals can be purged from voter rolls.

Numerous right-wing groups, like the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), have brought the discussion about states not properly maintaining their voter registration lists to the forefront. PILF and others have brought lawsuits in numerous states to remove people from their voter rolls, which could disenfranchise numerous voters.

The other bill sent to Gov. Landry this week is Senate Bill 436, which would require individuals to provide proof of citizenship to register to vote.

Last month, congressional Republicans introduced a nationwide proof of citizenship bill. Laws like this would not only prevent noncitizens from voting in federal elections — which they are already prohibited from doing — but would also create barriers for eligible voters who do not have a photo ID or access to documents to prove citizenship, which is often people in minority groups.

In her Monday statement, Sec. Landry said she wants to ensure these remaining four bills get signed so that “we can continue our work of making Louisiana’s elections the safest and most secure in the country.”

The Louisiana House Democratic Caucus did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Read the secretary of state’s statement here.