FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–September 4, 2020
Federal Judge to Hear Louisiana Election Lawsuit on Tuesday & Wednesday
The plaintiffs (who include the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice) in the lawsuit over Louisiana’s election rules for November and December will present their case on Tuesday, September 8, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., followed by the defendants on Wednesday during those same hours.
NEW ORLEANS, LA | September 4, 2020—Two days of court hearings on the Power Coalition’s lawsuit (officially known as Harding v. Edwards) over Louisiana’s emergency election rules (or lack thereof) for this fall are set for this coming Tuesday and Wednesday, September 8 and 9, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. each day, in front of Judge Shelly Dick in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs will present their case on Tuesday, followed by the defendants on Wednesday.
If you would like to listen live, follow these steps:
- Call 669-254-5252 or 646-828-7666
- Enter meeting ID: 160-0389-3634, followed by the ‘#’ sign
- Press ‘#’ again to bypass Participant ID
- Record your name, and press ‘#’ one more time
These hearings will likely be the culmination of a battle among Gov. Edwards, Secretary Ardoin, and voting rights groups over how to administer the fall elections amid Covid. Barring something unexpected, Judge Dick’s ruling on the lawsuit, which was filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund on behalf of the Power Coalition, the Louisiana State Conference of the NAACP, and three individual plaintiffs, will set the rules for Louisiana’s fall elections.
This past Wednesday, Sec. Ardoin issued a statement laying out the changes that he planned to unilaterally make to the election rules, given that Gov. Edwards has made it clear that he will veto the Emergency Election Plan that Ardoin presented to the state legislature last month.
That same day, Gov. Edwards released his own statement announcing that he’s filed a memorandum in favor of the lawsuit, “asking the judge to direct Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin to implement the same election plan that was used for the recent elections in July and August.”
Gov. Edwards went on to say: “Simply put, Secretary Ardoin’s plan for the November and December elections does not adequately protect the constitutional right to vote. Further, it is contrary to the recommendations of the CDC and public health experts. We can and must do better. I am hopeful that the Court will find a way to order that we implement a safe election plan for the fall elections.”
“The Emergency Election Plan that was in place for Louisiana’s July and August elections should be a bare minimum for what we do in November and December,” said Power Coalition Executive Director Ashley Shelton. “The Presidential election is always the highest turnout election we have in this state and in this country, and there will be numerous crucial local races on people’s ballots as well, including District Attorneys and judges. We need to make sure this election is conducted safely and fairly, and in a way that allows everyone to exercise their right to vote without putting their health, or the health of their family, friends, or neighbors, at risk.”
The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice works to build voice and power in traditionally ignored communities. We are a coalition of groups from across Louisiana whose mission is to organize in impacted communities, educate and turn out voters, and fight for policies that create a more equitable and just system in Louisiana.
Who: Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
What: Hearings on lawsuit over Louisiana election rules for November and December.
When: September 4, 2020
Ashley Shelton, Executive Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, (225) 802-2435, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Robins-Brown, Communications Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, (504) 256-8196, email@example.com