WASHINGTON, D.C. — A coalition of voting rights groups including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, ACLU of Louisiana, Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund and League of Women Voters of Louisiana submitted written testimony on Monday in opposition to Senate Bill 224. The testimony, submitted to the Louisiana House and Governmental Affairs Committee, argues that the bill under consideration enacts undue burdens on the right to vote for Black voters and voters of color in the state and that it may violate the First, 14th and 15th Amendments as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
S.B. 224 would impose new ID requirements on absentee and mail-in voting. An amendment being considered in the state Senate committee would mandate that voters include their Louisiana driver’s license or ID number in their absentee ballot application. If they do not have such an ID, they would be required to include the last four digits of their Social Security number — and all of these ID numbers would also be required on the outside of the ballot return envelope. The testimony calls these requirements an “arbitrary, cumbersome, and unnecessary burden in light of the standing measures to confirm the identity of the requesting voter.” The organizations urge the committee not to advance the bill.