NEW ORLEANS - Today, Council Vice President Helena Moreno announced the New Orleans City Council would hold a special meeting to consider filing a lawsuit challenging the Secretary of State's decision to limit access to absentee ballot curbside drop off locations. The Secretary has declared that absentee ballots may only be returned to the registrar of voters' office in New Orleans and that no further ballot drop off locations may be allowed.
"We must fight to expand safe access to voting for all New Orleanians. It is incredibly disappointing that the legislature and the Secretary of State continue to develop new barriers to voting. We won't' stand for it in New Orleans," said Councilmember Moreno. "That's why we're pursuing all avenues to expand - not restrict - the right to vote. My colleagues and I have fought for and successfully opened the Smoothie King center for safe early voting. We've held voter registration and information drives throughout the city. And we've made election day an official city holiday so that working people have the maximum opportunity to cast their ballot.
Yet, during this pandemic, too many people still must choose between their health and their access to voting - that is unacceptable. The Secretary fought the expansion of mail-in ballot access in his emergency plan. The courts overturned that decision. Now, we must fight another restrictive ruling in the courts - and we will because the right to vote isn't negotiable. We'll continue to press the case for voting rights across the board so that everyone can vote and have their voice heard."
Restricting access to absentee ballot drop-offs has been litigated and decided in favor of expansion across the country, including recently in Ohio where the Secretary of State attempted a similar tactic that was roundly rejected by a Federal court.
The Council will consider the motion to file suit at a special meeting on Wednesday.
For more info about voting, or to make a plan to vote, go to NolaVote.com.
Chief of Staff
Office of Councilmember-at-Large Helena Moreno