Ferrand v. Schedler is a lawsuit brought by Project Vote, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc. (LDF), and New Orleans attorney Ronald Wilson against Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler, the Secretary of the Departments of Children and Family Services, and the Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, for failing to provide voter registration services at public assistance agencies as required by Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act. The complaint was filed on behalf of the Louisiana State Conference of the NAACP and Louisiana residents Roy Ferrand and Luther Scott, Jr.
The complaint, filed on April 19, 2011, cites substantial evidence demonstrating that Louisiana is failing to provide mandatory voter registration services at its public assistance offices as required by the NVRA. Despite consistently high numbers of participants in Louisiana’s food stamp and Medicaid programs, voter registration applications originating from public assistance agencies have been surprisingly low. As of 2008, voter registration applications originating in these agencies had dropped 88 percent from 1995, despite increased participation in public assistance programs. The complaint also cites the results of agency investigations and interviews of public assistance recipients showing widespread non-compliance.
On July 21, 2011, a federal court rejected the state's effort to dismiss the lawsuit, stating that the NAACP successfully argued that it had expended resources "on additional voter registration initiatives" because of the "defendants' failure to comply with the NVRA," and that therefore, "[t]the NAACP has demonstrated that it satisfies the injury requirement that it has standing to sue."
On May 3, 2012, a federal judge ruled in favor of the Louisiana State Conference of the NAACP that the NVRA requires that all public assistance clients must be provided with a voter registration application whether they seek benefits in person or by the internet, telephone and mail.