New Orleans, the Gulf, and Absentee Ballots

From: Richard C. Johnson <dick_at_iwwco_dot_com>
Date: Fri Sep 09 2005 - 05:57:23 CDT

While immediate needs of food, shelter, and medical care overtax the authorities, it might also be in order to consider the longer term status of the displaced Gulf Coast voter. The records of registered New Orleans voters, for example, should have survived the disaster. Every voter in New Orleans is now or shortly will be living in another jurisdiction. Essentially, for at least six months, New Orleans will have 100% absentee elections if it has any. If the diaspora of registered New Orleans voters is still far flung in November of 2006, well, that is somewhat unprecidented. If New Orleans is rebuilt, who will live there and who will be a New Orleans voter?
I don't have all the answers, but I do think that any plan for Open Voting needs to consider the implications of absentee balloting and massive needs to vote and to be identified (provisional?) outside one's home precinct in cases of natural disaster. You may recall that in New York, our mayor almost decided to stay in office because of 9/11 (he quickly thought better of that idea).
-- Dick

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Received on Sat Dec 31 23:17:02 2005

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