For Immediate Release: July 15, 2021
New Orleans, LA–Since April 2021, Power Coalition has been a part of the Bring Back Louisiana campaign to get more Louisiana residents vaccinated.
Baton Rouge, LA–Yesterday, voting rights advocates joined Governor Edwards to sign two new democracy expanding laws into effect.
Act 365 extends early voting for Presidential elections in Louisiana, increasing the early voting period from 7 days to 11 days. Across the country, the average length of early voting periods is 19 days with some states having as many as 45 days.
Act 22 increases the amount of time that voters have in the voting booth from 3 minutes to 6 minutes. After 3 minutes, voters could be asked to leave the voting booth regardless of whether they had completed the ballot, putting some populations, such as elderly people, people who speak English as a second language, or those with learning disabilities at risk of not completing their ballot. Now, people will have double the amount of time in the booth, ensuring that all people can cast their vote confidently.
“In the words of late Congressman and civil rights icon, John Lewis, ‘The right to vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democracy.’The Power Coalition and partners are thrilled to have led this work. We will continue to advocate for policies that increase democracy and protect the overall voting process for all Louisianians,” says Janea Jamison, Director of Programs for Power Coalition.
In 2020, every single parish saw increased in-person early voting and over 817,000 people voted early in-person. Additionally, the Power Coalition’s voter hotline received numerous calls about being asked to leave the voting booth after 3 minutes in addition to anecdotal evidence from community members.
These two bills will help to ensure that people who want to vote have enough time to cast their ballot confidently.
“While other deep south states are passing voter suppression bills, we are proudly able to expand voting access in the state of Louisiana,” says Jamison.
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, Governor Edwards
What: Governor Edwards signs two new democracy expanding bills into law.
Ashley Shelton, President, Founder, CEO of Power Coalition, (225) 802- 2435, firstname.lastname@example.org
Janea Jamison, Director of Programs, Power Coalition, email@example.com (985) 513-1674