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Sunday, April 16, 2006

New Orleans Election ~ Are Absentee Voters Up Against A Care Less or Careless System?

A resident of New Orleans, exiled to Texas, writes of the hurdles to complete the official task of getting her absentee voter ballot back to Louisiana, for the upcoming 4/22/2006 election.

The exact reason why out of state satellite voting polls needed to be instituted for the evacuee residents of New Orleans. The situation described, obviously began in the office where the absentee ballots were sent from. Those that stuffed the envelopes, sealed the envelopes and added to the countless number of other ballot envelopes to be sent out to the New Orleans citizen, are supervised by someone who would know the rules of voting absentee.

Those that supervise would have had to have some knowledge of how an absentee ballot gets from point A to B to C....Right? Those that coordinate and implement the absentee ballot mailing would have to know what the citizen would need to have, in order to legally cast their vote. Wouldn't they?

The website containing the Louisiana Displaced Voter Registration information makes no reference to cost of voting absentee, unless it is well hidden in the layers of information pages. For those that may not be used to the absentee process and especially for those who have survived the devastation of their lives, all information needed to be published and advertised effectively. The Louisiana Secretary of State feels that everything that can be done to help people vote, is in place.

These areas of concern that are being expressed in the editorial, needed to be addressed and resolved from the start of planning. If there was some element of thought as to - how far a person would extend themselves monetarily to vote and how much more would a person sacrifice for the right to vote, it was not state public officials nor an election staff call to make. Every conceivable measure to allow reasonable access to the 'right to vote,' should have been followed, with truthful intent and using sound judgment. If good intentions were put forth, not paying attention to exiled citizen voter needs is equally tragic.

No telling how many people will give up their right to vote as the writer indicates, because they just simply can't afford to spare money or time or test their stamina any further. Food or vote, gas or vote, any necessity or vote, including work or vote; creates a sad, sad snapshot that could mushroom into a mural of "The forgotten Citizen Voter."

Sure hope the "voter rights" advocates are on top this one. When one persons opinion is expressed, it typically echoes many other voices. To have a chance, one person - one vote - activists and advocates do the best job of making actions count and accountability stick, in the arena of public opinion.
Link to The Times Picayune for whole Editorial...
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