Wednesday, October 26, 2005

This shouldn't be political

U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Birmingham, is still pushing his bill to allow Hurricane Katrina evacuees to vote absentee in their home states for the next two election cycles, but only Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors thus far.

Louisiana's Republican senator, David Vitter, said Congress should focus on other Katrina-related priorities for now. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Vestavia Hills, opposes the measure, claiming it "obviously opens the door to potential abuse." (Of course, so does his proposal to ease requirements for Katrina evacuees to show identification before cashing checks, but that didn't stop him from arguing that its potential benefits outweighed its potential detriment.)

One has to wonder if two of the motivators for the utter lack of GOP support thus far are a desire to dilute the Democratic vote in New Orleans and a suspicion that Davis' measure is primarily an effort to counteract that. No doubt Davis is eager to see the Crescent City continue its history of support for his party, but as he observes, his bill also could aid GOP candidates in areas to which evacuees flocked, such as Baton Rouge and Houston, by stemming a tide of new Democratic voters there.

Katrina evacuees didn't choose to have their homes destroyed in a disaster of epic proportions, and they shouldn't be punished for their misfortune by being denied the right to have an electoral say in the future of their hometowns. As long as the displaced voters remain registered only in the home precincts to which they plan to return, they should be able to have their vote counted there.

1 Comments:

Blogger Susan of LocalTint said...

"Louisiana's Republican senator, David Vitter, said Congress should focus on other Katrina-related priorities for now."

The preservation of basic democratic functions and rights (the things we're supposedly schooling Iraq in)is always a priority. A senator should know that.

If a GOP district in Texas were wiped out, they'd have temporary polling stations up before the ice got there.

1:14 PM  

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