Thursday, April 06, 2006



Marie Centanni

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That was one state senator's criticism that the state has not worked to create out-of-state voting places for hurricane evacuees. Once again, a Louisiana Senate committee considered the idea during a fiery debate, but didn't pass it. However, the question remains: what's stopping this plan?

Another tie vote kept the bill from moving forward Wednesday. Senators against the plan say Louisiana is already doing enough to reach voters.

The bill, by Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields, would require Secretary of State Al Ater to figure out how to place satellite voting precincts in cities with evacuees after an emergency. There are no details on how many cities this would involve, or how much it would cost. Evacuees say that shouldn't matter.

"If this bill doesn't pass, I'm going to have a resolution to memorialize congress to use those same military aircrafts to fly people back into New Orleans on election day," said Fields.

The New Orleans municipal elections are set for April 22. If this bill passes and Governor Blanco signs it before that date, there's a strong chance someone will file suit to stall the elections until the satellite voting plan could be finalized.

LPNS: Again, when asked at a N.O. mayoral candidate debate if they were for satellite voting in others states the candidates responded:

Forman: "Yes."
Landrieu: "Yes."
Nagin: "Absolutely."
Watson: "Definitely."
Wilson: "Absolutely not."

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