HCR 14 Disability Voting Task Force to Reconvene

Published 6:30 am Tuesday, January 24, 2023

BATON ROUGE, LA— January 24, 2023, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ) will reconvene at 1 p.m. (CST) at the Claiborne Building in the Thomas Jefferson Room with others who are a part of the HCR 14 Disability Voting Task Force. The 13 member group came about after the 2022 Legislative Session as a way to study how the state could expand voting rights for those with disabilities.

“At Power Coalition we’re working to continue expanding voting access in Louisiana. As we work during each election with our partners at Legal Defense Fund (LDF) to provide election protection, we see and hear about the problems voters with disabilities face in Louisiana,” said Ashley Shelton, CEO of PCEJ. “This is a chance for us to work in collaboration, address issues, and positively improve voting through policy recommendations.”

The task force group, which started in September with the intent to meet monthly, faced setbacks along the way to be fully accessible and allow full participation. Technical difficulties during the first and second meetings stopped people from being able to attend and have access to interpreters and a virtual way to participate if they could not be present. Improving accessibility in different ways for those with disabilities is the overall goal of the task force. Members of the task force hope to shift Louisiana toward a leading state in election accessibility nationwide by shifting the taskforce toward a permanent advisory committee that can work beyond the 2023 legislative session

“We want to break through the barriers to equitable voting access for Louisianianas with disabilities,” said Shelton. “It’s our job to provide a seat at the table for everyone.”

The meeting tomorrow will be the second to last before the task force will be expected to provide a final report on their findings and recommendations. The task force is accepting public comment and suggestions from those who are directly impacted. For those who cannot attend in person, public comment can be given until 8 a.m. on January 24, 2023. The Secretary of State is chair of the task force and comments can be sent directly to the staff at joel.watson@sos.la.gov.

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Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ) is dedicated to supporting and coordinating civic and voter engagement across Louisiana. We are guided by values of justice and racial equity and work with our partners to build an integrated civic engagement strategy that amplifies the voices of those who have historically been ignored, and organize them into a unified movement. PCEJ focuses on building power in traditionally marginalized communities, particularly Black and Brown communities, by equipping people with the knowledge and information they need to find their voice and learn where and when to use it.