BATON ROUGE – A federal judge heard more arguments from the defense Monday in an ongoing case that challenges at-large voting in Terrebonne Parish’s district courts.
U.S. District Judge James Brady listened to testimonies from two district judges, the district attorney, a former voting registrar and an expert witness on behalf of the state, which is challenging the Terrebonne NAACP’s 2014 federal lawsuit that aims to alter the at-large voting system to a district-based method to create a minority judicial district.
The proposed system would include five single-member districts for judges, including one with a voter majority of blacks and other minorities.
NAACP activists said Terrebonne’s 32nd Judicial District violates the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination when voting, because it denies black voters the equal opportunity to elect their preferred candidates.
Assistant Attorney General Angelique Freel, who represents the state in the case, contends that the defendants did not impose a racist voting practice and that black and white voters have similar opportunities to register to vote, run for elected office, hold elected office and participate in elections.
Expert witness Angele Romig, who serves as a the vice president of a New Orleans-based consulting firm that develops software applications and analytical services, told the court the state had asked her to analyze state judicial incumbency and election results from April 7, 1990 to Dec. 6, 2014 including demographic, voter registration and non-judicial candidate information in Terrebonne…
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