Louisiana State Rep. Mandie Landry’s proposal to let the voters request an absentee mail-in ballot is now axed by the House and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The New Orleans Democrat’s bill was set to remove qualification restrictions for the registered voters who sought voting by mail. Under the current Louisiana law, the absentee ballots are available for senior and disabled citizens, students, ministers, military members, voters who are inpatient, as well as voters who have relocated. When requesting a ballot, they must clarify why they were unable to arrive in person.
On May 19th, lawmakers voted 10-4 to keep Rep. Landry’s bill from advancing to the house floor by involuntarily deferring it, reports WDSU.
Landry had testified that 33 other states in the U.S. currently allow vote-by-mail to any voters, which is especially relevant because of the pandemic. She was supported by a number of college students and a recent LSU graduate Catherine McKinney, whose Louisiana-Vote-By-Mail petition received almost 6,000 signatures.
“People are still scared [because of the pandemic]” McKinney said, according to WDSU. “This bill allows us to really accommodate… allows that basic freedom.”
Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, a Republican, opposed the bill, claiming it would become a shortcut for frauds. “Not a chance on god’s green earth can I implement this legislation for November,” he told the lawmakers according to WAFB9. He also claimed that Landry’s plan would delay election results by as many as two weeks.