A fine time for a vote.
New Orleans to be hit by a second, more Republican, storm
Somehow, it seemed like a fair idea for Bush's Justice Dept. to allow elections
to go forward in New Orleans before many of the refugees (overwhelmingly black
and therefore overwhelmingly Democratic) have returned.
Jesse Jackson commented:
"Two-thirds of the eligible population has been disenfranchised... This
is more onerous than the poll tax laws of 1965."
According to AP,
70% of New Orleans was black before Katrina but with the disproportionate number
of blacks forced to flee, it's unlikely that the black population will be adequately
"The department still needs to approve a few polling place changes but
otherwise gave its blessing to plans to hold elections for mayor, City Council
and other posts on April 22. Department officials also said they will send observers
to monitor the balloting."
Defending their actions, officials contend that they've set up satellite polling
stations and sent absentee ballots. But, according to the WaPo:
"it stops short of arranging for balloting in other states such as Texas,
Mississippi and Georgia, where many evacuees are dispersed."
And besides, I don't know about you, but when I'm worried about my city, my
family, getting a job, lost friends, a lifetime's worth of belongings, etc,
the first thing on my mind is getting to a satellite polling place to vote for
a candidate I haven't heard boo from since I'm not in the city anyway... (Buzzflash)