Closing Louisiana Primaries Will Disenfranchise Black Voters

Topline: More than 200,000 black voters are registered as independents in Louisiana. A rush to close primaries is a rush to revoke the power of the vote from nearly 25% of the entire Black voting population.

Louisiana's newly elector Gov. Jeff Landry called for a special session of the legislature to tackle election reform. On the agenda: closing Louisiana's open primaries. The state is home to a uniquely large population of Black independent voters: roughly 200,000.

Jeremy Gruber, Vice Preisdent at Open Primaries, just published a new opinion piece in The Hill:

"If these leaders were to have their way, almost a third of the entire electorate — nearly a million voters that are independent and not registered with either major party — would be shut out in closed congressional, state and local primary elections.  

In Louisiana, that increasingly means Black voters. More than 200,000 black voters are registered as independents in the state. That’s almost a quarter of the entire Black voting population. 

Closed primaries may be taxpayer funded, but only registered Democrats or Republicans are allowed to vote in them. The scale of such a change would be the largest single act of voter disenfranchisement in the state, and would represent a return to the politics of Jim Crow from decades past where primaries, among so many other aspects of the franchise, were closed to Black voters."

The full piece is available here.