Posted on October 16, 2005In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana voters and election administrators will face numerous challenges that threaten to undermine the state’s democratic processes. These issues include congressional and state legislative districts of wildly disparate sizes, thousands of displaced voters without stable absentee voting addresses, and FEMA's refusal to share the temporary addresses of hurricane victims with state election administrators.
To address these issues, FairVote calls for the temporary use of multimember districts using proportional voting systems, so that the one-person, one-vote and Voting Rights Act principles can remain intact -- without need for an expensive and ineffective mid-decade redistricting or a new census. Additionally, Louisiana should expand its current use of ranked ballots for overseas voters to include displaced Hurricane Katrina victims, to ensure that these voters are not disenfranchised in the state's runoff elections. At a minimum, FEMA should allow state election officials to mail information to displaced hurricane victims, so that they can fully participate in upcoming elections.
[ Read FairVote's Full Proposal ]