Secretary of State Recommends Late Term Abortion for Orleans Parish
With less than two months to the February 4th election in Orleans Parish, Secretary of State Al Ater is recommending that we abort.
Al Ater says the New Orleans election for mayor, city council, sheriffs, and other city-parish positions will be held sometime before September 30th. There’s a lot of work to be done, like repositioning voting machines and commissioners, and making sure evacuees know when, where and how to cast their vote.
Delaying the elections in Orleans Parish sucks. Even if it results in a landslide victory for Republicans. Because I’m not a fan of what passes for “Republican” these days. Over the last two decades, the GOP has abandoned every important value and principle that made me once count myself among their ranks. Fortunately, I have failed to grow with the party and have accepted that thinking for myself, though slightly more difficult than grazing in a field of dead grass painted a nice shiny green, is far easier than looking at myself in the mirror every morning knowing that I voted for Bush, Inc.
But maintaining and defending a political identification is not the most important principle in this case. Nor is delaying an election to give parish Democrats a chance to get people back into the Ninth Ward and other heavily Democratic areas of the city. Besides, there are over 1000 people killed during and immediately after the storm that Democrats can count on to vote for them, not to mention all of the storm victims that allegedly are not being counted as storm victims.
I submit that the physical and logistical problems in setting up voting booths, reorganizing and combining multiple precincts and voting rolls at several major and easily accessible downtown locations, and notifying current and displaced voters of their locations is not the insurmountable set of problems that Al Ater claims. I don’t know whether Al is lazy, incompetent, or both. But I do know that by the time February rolls around he will have had more than 5 months to solve the physical and logistical problems of holding a parish-wide election as scheduled.
Granted, the situation in Orleans parish right now is far from ideal. Hundreds of thousands of voters are probably still displaced. And likely will be displaced for the elections. But delaying the election does everyone a huge disservice. No matter what date elections are eventually set to occur, a delay only means that someone will have a damn good reason to cry foul. I keep reading comments from people unhappy with the bitching and whining coming from New Orleans. “Shit happens, deal with it,” they say. Well, in this instance, I’m the guy saying, “shit happens, deal with it.”
Don’t move the election. It only makes New Orleans and Louisiana look more crooked than everyone already thinks we are. If voting is important to displaced voters, they will find a way to vote absentee or to get to New Orleans to vote. If you have to dip people’s entire right hand in indelible fluorescent chartreuse ink to prevent fraud, then order indelible fluorescent chartreuse ink. If there are long lines, then there are long lines. If polls have to to be open for several days in order to give everyone a reasonable opportunity to reach them, then they have to be open for several days. That alone would reduce the number of voting machines necessary. The point is, 5 months is plenty of time to adequately address these problems and develop workable solutions.
I’ve seen plenty of Blanco bashing since the hurricane. Hopefully, one of her aides still likes her enough to point out that approving this delay will only give people another reason to pile on. This agenda item doesn’t even require a prayer service. Blanco should reject Sec. of State Ater’s recommendation and force him to do his job.