Quick! Vote while the black people are gone

News & Politics

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 represented.

"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)

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