Sunday, January 29, 2006

Legislators in LA attempt to get at FEMA list for absentee balloting

The AP is reporting that two Louisiana state representatives, supported by Cleo Fields (ex Congressman and gubernatorial candidate, currently in the State Senate), are suing FEMA for the names and addresses of Louisiana residents who have applied for emergency assistance.

According to the petition, the representatives need the names in order to inform voters of their voting rights, including how to file absentee ballots.

Some of us blogged about the challenges in holding elections in Louisiana soon after Katrina hit. Who constitutes a current resident for voting purposes? Have officials prepared for the likely onslaught of absentee ballots? Is it the obligation of FEMA to assure voting rights?

Much seems to turn on FEMAs need to keep names private. I can think of at least one survey research lab that would love to have access to that list. Right now, attempting to assess the impact of Katrina on displaced residents is nearly impossible.

Credit goes out to Ed Still's Votelaw listserv for this Story


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5:21 AM  

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