Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown, co-founders of Black Voters Matter and April England-Albright, National Legal Director of Black Voters Matter, issued the following statement in response to a Louisiana Supreme Court judge’s decision to overturn the election of Caddo Parish’s first Black Sheriff:

“Louisiana Supreme Court Judge Joseph Bleich’s decision to overturn the certified election of Chief Henry Whitehorn as the new sheriff of Caddo Parish this week is unjust and is yet another attempt to target and suppress the power of Black voters in this country.

“The election of Chief Henry Whitehorn last month was one of the few victories in Louisiana for Black voters this election cycle, where residents in the city of Shreveport and greater Caddo Parish officially elected its first Black sheriff. Following opponent John Nickelson’s decision to file a lawsuit to contest the results, retired judge Bleich officially ruled this week to overturn the election and ordered a new election, even though the results of the election were certified and recounted.

“Bleich’s decision is a reflection of right-wing lawmakers’ attempts to more aggressively overturn elections since 2020. Although similar attempts have been made at the national level, these targeted attempts to suppress Black voters’ power and remove Black candidates from office have been happening on local levels for years.

“It is disappointing and unacceptable that far more attention has gone to questionable polling of Black voter enthusiasm than has gone to ongoing attacks on Black voting rights which are far more likely to impact Black voter turnout.

“Black voters must consistently navigate this type of suppression. In the wake of heightened criticism against Black voters for low turnout in the recent Louisiana governor’s race and other local elections, Black Voters Matter is calling on lawmakers and advocates to step up and protect our communities. We also urge Congress to pass national voting rights legislation in this country that will prevent further weakening of an already shaky democracy.”