The Code of Laws of the United States of America is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal laws of the United States. It currently contains 51 titles.
Since its creation, a substantial amount of federal legislation related to voting and elections has been enacted. In 1926, however, when the original organizational scheme for the United States Code was established, there were a limited number of provisions on this subject so no distinct title for voting and elections was created at that time. As this body of statutory material grew over the decades, much of it was incorporated into the United States Code in Title 42 (The Public Health and Welfare). Other provisions related to voting and elections were incorporated into the United States Code in Title 2 (The Congress), Title 3 (The President), Title 26 (Internal Revenue Code), and Title 48 (Territories and Insular Possessions).
Voting Rights Act of 1965
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. §§ 1973-1973aa-6) is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S. "Voting Rights Act."Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 26 March 2013 Web.
Echoing the language of the 15th Amendment, the Act prohibits states from imposing any "voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure ... to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color."Id. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had earlier signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. Id.
The Act established federal administrative oversight of elections administration, providing that states and jurisdictions with a history of discriminatory voting practices, called covered jurisdictions, could not implement any change affecting voting without first obtaining approval either through an administrative process with the Department of Justice, known as preclearance, or through a declaratory judgment action in the District Court of the District of Columbia. The entire state of Louisiana was a covered jurisdiction.
The Act has been renewed and amended by congress five times, a 25-year extension was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2006. "Voting Rights Act."Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 26 March 2013 Web.
On June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the 40 plus year practice of preclearance is no longer relevant, and struck down part of the Act. States are no longer required to undergo special scrutiny from the Federal Government before changing their voting laws. With this 5-4 ruling, there are no longer any covered jurisdictions in the United States.
Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA)
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) (42 USC 1973ff et seq. 1986) was enacted by congress in 1986. The act requires that all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands allow certain U.S. citizens to register to vote and to vote by absentee ballot in federal elections. "Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 12 June 2011 Web. Louisiana has extended this federal law to state elections.
UOCAVA covers members of the seven uniformed services and the U.S. Merchant Marine and their eligible family members. It also covers U.S. citizens employed by the federal government residing outside the U.S. and other private U.S. citizens residing outside the United States.
The Act provides for an emergency back-up ballot, the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), which can be cast by voters who "have made a timely application for but have not received their regular ballot from the state or territory, subject to certain conditions." "Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 12 June 2011 Web.
National Voter Registration Act Of 1993 (NVRA)
The NVRA (42 U.S.C. § 1973gg), also known as The Motor Voter Act, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on May 20, 1993, but did not require implementation until January 1, 1995. The legislation required state governments to allow for registration when a qualifying voter applied for or renewed thier driver's license or applied for social services. "National Voter Registration Act of 1993." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 2 February 2013 Web.
To comply with the federal mandate, the Louisiana legislature adopted Act 10 of the Third Extraordinary Session of 1994. Since states combine elections for federal and state offices, Louisiana opted to adopt a law which affected procedures for both federal and state offices maintaining a single voter registration system. The secretary of state is designated the chief election official responsible for the coordination of the state's duties under the NVRA.
View Louisiana's National Voter Registration Act Pamphlet
The main intent of Act 10 is to make it easier for persons to participate in the electoral process by providing new and innovative ways to register to vote. These programs not only bring new voters into the election process, but they also bring new people to the task of registration administration. The people who directly perform the intake function of NVRA programs will be employees of driver's license offices and other public assistance agencies, as well as party workers and activists using mail registration applications in voter registration drives.
In addition to registering online, by mail, or in person at a parish Registrar of Voters office, voter registration is offered under the NVRA in connection with a designated service at driver's license facilities, public assistance offices through the food stamp program, Medicaid program, Women, Infants, and Children program, Family Independence Temporary Assistance program, and other social services offices that provide state-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities. Additionally, registration is offered at recruitment offices of the Armed Forces, public colleges, universities and high schools, and other private high schools, colleges, universities and municipalities who have chosen to participate in the NVRA.
Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
The Help America Vote Act (Pub.L. 107-252), or HAVA, is a United States federal law which passed in the House 357-48 and 92-2 in the Senate and was signed into law by President Bush on October 29, 2002. "Help America Vote Act." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 13 March 2013 Web. Drafted (at least in part) in reaction to the controversy surrounding the 2000 U.S. presidential election, the goals of HAVA were to replace punch card and lever-based voting systems; to create the Election Assistance Commission to assist in the administration of Federal elections; and to establish minimum election administration standards. Id.
View the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), the Original Louisiana State Plan, the Louisiana Amended State Plan (Amendment #1), the Louisiana Amended State Plan (Amendment #2), or the Louisiana Consolidated State Plan (Amendments #1 & #2).
View HAVA Complaints, the Sept. 27, 2010, HAVA Advisory Committee meeting agenda, the Public Notice (Amendment #3), or the Preliminary Amended State Plan Amendment #3.
The Impact Of HAVA Elections In Louisiana
The new HAVA legislation mandated a number of changes in the way elections are conducted, and introduced several requirements designed to improve the voting process. Federal funds were made available to the secretary of state's office through the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to assist with improving election administration, replacing lever-operated voting machines and punch cards with new voting equipment and machines, improving voter accessibility to voting systems and polling places, training elections officials and poll workers, and educating the voters of Louisiana.
All official complaints concerning non-compliance with HAVA legislation should be reported to the state board of election supervisors by forwarding the complaint to the secretary of state's office utilizing the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Complaint Form (HAVA-COM).
Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE ACT)
The Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (or MOVE Act) is Subtitle H of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (H.R. 2647, Pub.L. 111-84, 123 Stat. 2190.) and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009. "Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 10 March 2013 Web. The overall purpose of the law is to help military serving overseas and citizens who live abroad vote in U.S. elections. Id.
The Louisiana Legislature passed Act 624 (HB 1200, R.S. 2010) to implement the MOVE Act for Louisiana's military and overseas voters. The law was amended by Act 195 (HB 524, R.S. 2011). View information for military and overseas voters.