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Louisiana Lawmakers Just Voted by Mail to Roll Back Vote By Mail Access to All Voters in The State

Louisiana Lawmakers Just Voted by Mail to Roll Back Vote By Mail Access to All Voters in The State
Louisiana Secretary of State's Office // P_wei/Getty Images

Voter suppression is a key factor in Republicans winning elections, and the virus that's killed 60 thousand Americans and unemployed millions more has also presented a rare opportunity for Republicans to discourage voting even more.

With stay-at-home and social distancing orders in full effect across the nation, health experts have warned Americans from gathering in large crowds—much like the kind necessitated by in-person lines to the polls.

While Democrats are calling for an expansion of remote voting options, such as automatic mailing of absentee ballots without waiting for applications, Republicans have largely insisted that elections should carry on as usual, despite the likelihood of a depressed turnout.

The latest instance of this comes in Louisiana, where the Advocate reports that both the state House and Senate struck down an expansion of absentee ballots, only allowing for the elderly or those in extreme circumstances to do so. The revisions were drafted by Republican Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin.

The expanded ballot effort was part of an emergency plan for Louisiana's elections in July and August, but was voted down in revisions by Republicans, who claimed to be concerned with voter fraud despite the extremely low instances of voter fraud in mail-in ballots.

The move came with a bitterly ironic twist: the legislators voted by mail to do so.

People didn't hesitate to call out the hypocrisy.

There is some hope, however.

Wisconsin Republicans struck down an extension of the absentee ballot deadline in a move that was nationally criticized, yet the most consequential race—a seat on the Republican dominated state Supreme Court—still went to a liberal leaning judge.

Turnout is key.

You have to turn out too. Are you registered to vote?