Louisiana Faces Class Action Lawsuit For Voter Disfranchisement

Hundreds of thousands of ex-cons in Louisiana are suing the state for stripping off their voting rights.

The number of citizens convicted of a felony or on parole in Louisiana State is close to 700,000 and most of those men are African-Americans. They have all been stripped off their voting rights, due to an archaic law that restricts ex-cons from exercising their franchise.

In 1974, Louisiana State made a law that citizens above 18 have the right to register and vote, “except that this right may be suspended while a person …is under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony.”

In order to exclude maximum of black people from making important decisions for the country and from expressing their opinion, state authorities added to the constitution, two years later, that citizens also on parole or probation are exempted from voting.

Those men and women stripped off their voting rights are now suing the state, after authorities failed to pass House Bill 958 that would have limited the prevention of citizen’s voting rights to equal the amount of time they spent in prison.

On Friday, July 1, the Voice of the Ex-Offender (VOTE) based in Louisiana filled a class action lawsuit, naming ex-convicts who have been affected by the voter disenfranchisement law. The organization hopes to restore voting rights of Louisiana convicted felons.

The authorities’ actions violate the principles of freedom and equality, as well as the law, and so these lawsuits to government are not just possible, but necessary.

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