Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) vetoed two bills on Friday that would have restricted voting laws in the state.
The first bill, HB 1092, would have required voters to show a photo ID at the polls. The second bill, HB 813, would have made it more difficult for people to vote by mail.
Edwards said that the bills would have made it harder for people to vote, especially for people of color and low-income voters. He also said that the bills were unnecessary, as there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Louisiana.
“These bills would have made it harder for people to vote, and that’s not right,” Edwards said in a statement. “We should be making it easier for people to vote, not harder.”
The bills were vetoed by a single vote in each house of the Louisiana legislature. The Republican-controlled legislature is likely to override the vetoes, but Edwards’ vetoes are a symbolic victory for voting rights advocates.
This is not the first time that Edwards has vetoed bills that would have restricted voting rights in Louisiana. In 2021, he vetoed a bill that would have made it more difficult for people to register to vote.
Louisiana has a long history of voter suppression. In 2016, the state was one of the hardest hit by voter ID laws. A study by the Brennan Center for Justice found that the laws disproportionately affected African American voters, who were less likely to have the required ID.
The vetoes by Edwards are a sign that the fight for voting rights is not over in Louisiana. Voting rights advocates are likely to continue to challenge restrictive voting laws in the state.