Sunday, March 19, 2006
Outcome likely to be contested, he says
By Karen Turni Bazile
Echoing concerns of other civil rights leaders about the fairness of New Orleans' upcoming elections, National Urban League president and former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial announced a plan Saturday for out-of-town mayoral forums and outreach programs to help the city's displaced voters.
The National Coalition for Black Civic Participation plans to file a letter of objection to the U.S. Justice Department's approval Thursday of the plans for the April 22 and May 20 elections, said Morial, who was in New Orleans to attend a funeral.
The department gave advance clearance to the plans under the terms of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which requires the Justice Department to review proposed changes in voting procedures in Louisiana and other Southern states to ensure the changes don't discriminate against black voters.
"What New Orleans and Louisiana do not need right now is another black eye because of a marred election process," Morial said. "With 30 days to go, there's ample opportunity for the plan to be corrected."