Voter Registration Opportunities
WHEREAS, it is the announced policy of the State of Louisiana as established by the Legislature, Governor and Secretary of State to encourage full participation in voting by all citizens of the State;
WHEREAS, to that end the State has expanded voter registration opportunities through registration at parish Registrar’s offices, at the Office of Motor Vehicles, registration by mail, assisting in voter registration drives, implementing an online voter registration system at www.GeauxVote.com, dedicating a state voter registration week, providing early registration for sixteen year olds in connection with their first time driver’s license applications, as well as a myriad of other activities and programs designed to remind and assist citizens with voter registration;
WHEREAS, the State has also continued in effect a program of voter registration established in La. R.S. 18:116 and the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) providing for voter registration at designated public assistance agencies and offices that provide state funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities in connection with certain defined benefit transactions at the respective agencies and offices identified and defined as “voter registration agencies”;
WHEREAS, while state registration programs are effective in providing citizens the opportunity to register to vote as evidenced by Louisiana having approximately 86% of its eligible citizens registered to vote, the NVRA voter registration program continues to have value by further ensuring that as many citizens as possible are afforded the opportunity to register to vote;
WHEREAS, the Secretary of State, in Article IV, Section 7 of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974, is designated the Chief Election Officer of the State and as such is assigned the duty of coordinating state responsibilities under the National Voter Registration Act and applicable voter registration laws of the state;
WHEREAS, coordination of state responsibilities under the National Voter Registration Act has been broadly construed to include primary enforcement of the state’s responsibilities under the NVRA with respect to voter registration agencies;
WHEREAS, pursuant to his duty to coordinate state responsibilities and in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, the Secretary of State has adopted administrative rules with respect to voter registration agencies as set out in LAC 31:II.401-421;
WHEREAS, an executive order directed to voter registration agencies within the executive branch is deemed advisable and necessary to reinforce and clarify the authority of the Secretary of State with respect to all such voter registration agencies.
NOW THEREFORE, I, BOBBY JINDAL, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Health and Hospitals, the Louisiana Workforce Commission, and such other offices, agencies, or departments designated as public assistance agencies and offices that provide state funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities are hereby directed to implement and fully effectuate voter registration procedures, practices and forms in accordance with the administrative rules promulgated by the Secretary of State for “voter registration agencies” as those administrative rules exist and may hereafter be amended.
SECTION 2: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the State of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate in the implementation of the provisions of this Order.
SECTION 3: This order is effective upon signature and shall remain in effect until amended, modified, terminated or rescinded.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 8th day of July, 2015.
Secretary of State