BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, June 20, 2011. Today, the United States Department of Justice (Justice Department) precleared House Bill 1 which is the legislation that redistricted the House of Representatives. The Justice Department only reviewed House Bill 1 to ensure that it is in compliance with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. We submitted a letter objecting to the preclearance of the plan. The LLBC, in keeping with its mission to fight for the state's under-represented people, advocated against this plan because it did not ensure that all Louisiana citizens' voting power was not diluted. We continue to believe the process was conducted in a manner that diminished minority voter's ability to select a candidate of their choice.
Although we are disheartened that HB 1 was precleared under Section 5, it is our firm belief that this plan does not comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This is because it reflects Governor Jindal's and other members of the legislature's belief that partisanship and incumbent protection are more important than complying with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The LLBC firmly believes that HB 1 is not in compliance with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and are in dialogue with other organizations on the necessary strategies to pursue legal action regarding noncompliance under Section 2.
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