October 31st, 2008
04:51 PM ET
12 years ago

Displaced by Katrina, unsure of Election Day

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/31/art.mac9ward1031.gi.jpg caption="Sen. McCain toured the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans with his wife, Cindy, in April of this year."]
(CNN) - The lingering aftermath of Hurricane Katrina looms large over New Orleans residents this election season. CNN’s Voter Hotline has received several calls from New Orleans residents wondering where to vote, whether former evacuees are still registered, and how to vote absentee after being displaced.

Joseph Harris of New Orleans was confused about whether his temporary displacement after the storm would affect his registration.

“I was calling to make sure I was on the list. I want to make sure my information had been changed back now from Houston where I was evacuated during Katrina, and I just want to make sure I’m able to vote on November 4,” Harris asked on the Hotline.

According to the Louisiana Secretary of State, Katrina’s lingering impact doesn’t extend to the voter rolls. “There has been no purging because people were displaced by Katrina. Basically, they can vote if we have a good address,” said Jacques Berry from the Louisiana Secretary of State office. “If you live in a homeless shelter and have an address, you can register to vote in Louisiana.”

Katrina victims who were displaced and are still planning to vote in Louisiana should call the state’s toll free number, (800) 883-2805. The rules for those displaced by the storm are no different than other residents, Berry said. “There’s nothing specific to them.”

The Hotline has also gotten calls from New Orleans parish voters who haven’t received their absentee ballots. “There’s a good chance that all the absentee ballots are out now. We want all voters to have the opportunity to vote. I am sure all absentee ballots will be out with sufficient time,” Berry said. “We want all voters to have the opportunity to vote.”

If you are a resident in the state of Louisiana who has questions regarding your registration status or where you should go to vote, you can visit geauxvote.com or call 1 (800) 883-2805.

Filed under: Katrina • Louisiana • Voter Problems
soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. Carol

    Years later and so many still unable to go home because of lack of infrastructure rebuilding and home rebuilding.

    You did a heck of a job brownie.

    October 31, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. Commonwealth of Virginia

    This is one way the GOP is going to steal Louisiana away. I'm sure the GOP slime down there are purging votes. If it can happen to people in Michigan who haven't been displaced, it definitely can happen in Louisiana.


    October 31, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    I sure hope those folks get to vote – they've been pushed aside by our government too many other ways. Don't take their rights from them.

    October 31, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. JJ

    Now why is MSM just now reporting this? They should have reporting on this story long time ago. Way to look out for the people CNN!

    October 31, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |

    Who by now, would REALLY not have seen that race plays a significant part in this.Otherwise Obama would be 70:30 V MCAIN.There guys out there like PUMA-remember them?.Credit to those white brothers and sisters (and others of course,like LATINOS) who stand shoulder to shoulder with LOVE, IMPARTIALITY and RESPECT and say ' WE ARE ONE' or SIMUNYE in ZULU. Lest there some doubters, YES he is a jolly goodfella and yes you can fight that Gremlin called SUBCONCIOUS RACISM and share history with everyone. Because we are making it in November.

    Forget PALIN MCAIN.

    BARACK OBAMA is BLACK meets WHITE;he is JAPAN(Obama) meets AMERICA; he is A f RICA meets A me RICA; he is HEBREW(Barack=blessing) meets ARAB (Hussein) meets Africa(Obama) ;he is YOUNG meets AGED!!!!!! HE IS THE IDEAL; ANYONE EXCLUDED ???? Please say so.

    October 31, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Sam SixPack

    When do we start getting our welfare checks?

    October 31, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |

    Today is Friday afternoon, offices will be closed this weekend so that only leaves Monday to get this information. Not a lot of time for the voters. I hope most of these people have already checked their voting information out by now.

    October 31, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Scott NYC Independent

    This was part of the republican party calculation. They don't want anyone near New Orleans and its surrounding towns to vote in this election. They are fully aware that the day after the Hurricane George Bush was at John McCains ranch cutting a birthday cake.

    Law suites should be brought for intentionally disenfranchising these voters; its a criminal act – one of many committed by the Bush administration.

    October 31, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Hard Working American for McCain

    I can't believe you Katrina victems are still singing the blues. It's been over 3 years. If you haven't done something with your life by now then you probably never will. Honestly, I wish you'd get the hell out of my town. You bums have done nothing but create problems!

    October 31, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. sf

    As an ardent Obama supporter, I would say this is one area where I wish there would have been more focus during the election.

    I believe he will right the ship once and for all when he takes office.

    October 31, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Bald ex-warrior

    Personally I think this is criminal that after this many years, people are still in the limbo of 'temporary housing'
    Katrina should be nothing but a memory now. How can the Republicans wave their flags and signs in pride when it was under their watch that the tragic effects of inaction and incompetence happened. They had their chance and they showed America just how corrupt and bankrupt their ideas are. Too bad they had to bankrupt soo many citizens along with them.

    October 31, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. sabuc for Obama

    I was thinking that LA would have been blue, but now that I realize that it was the fat cats in LA that could afford to stay or were not affected by Katrina are probably the ones that would benefit the least from Obama's plans. Sad to read about these things, but it looks like Bush's plan to ignore LA is being revealed even more now.

    @ "Hard Working American for McCain", you are despicable with comments like that. Sounds like we will be the ones saying the same thing to you come Nov 5th!!

    October 31, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. sensible Cape Coral FL

    If you are an American citizen, you have the right to vote even if you live on a park bench. Got that, Republicans?

    October 31, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. Stafelle

    Ok, Katrina was 3 years ago. Come on people, give me a break! They should have thought about this a long time ago...perhaps in the beginning of 2007. There is no excuse for these people not to vote. It has been 3 years!

    October 31, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. ObamaVolunteer

    To: Hard Working American for McCain,

    Karma is not nice; remember Hurricanes Gustav and Ike? Ask the residents of Galveston, Houston and surrounding areas about those hurricanes; and please remember, tornadoes and floods can happen any where.

    October 31, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. ines

    This is completely sad that a whole region has been neglected like this after the destruction of hurricane Katrina.

    The way the Bush administration, who was supported by McCain over 90% of the time during this period, treated the people of New Orleans would be reason enough to run to the polls and vote for Obama.

    Bush failed us badly too many times. McCain supported those bad decisions far too much. NEVER AGAIN – people. WE HAVE A HUGE COMBINED POWER IN OUR VOTES.

    'We must be the change we wish to see in the world. ' – Gandhi

    October 31, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Louisiana has grown more conservative since Katrina, regrettably because of the exodus of traditional Democratic voters. Those remaining, who seem to fall more in the Sarah Palin (far right) than even John McCain (moderate) camp, are voting purely on social rather than economic issues, and more to spite the departed Democratic voters than out of a real understanding of the issues facing their state or how disastrously a Republican administration would address those issues.

    October 31, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. tulsa

    Sam SixPack, you are a true Republican neo-con. Greedy, self absorbed and ignorant.
    Bless your heart.
    (anyone from the South will know what I mean)

    October 31, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  19. Republican American unchanged

    Baldy; They didn't bankrupt no one. Those that went theat route did so by choice! Quit your friggin moaning and groaning!

    October 31, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. ran

    CNN if you really care about rights and the Freedom of the Press you will send a team to make sure ever person who can vote gets to vote in La.

    October 31, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. sf

    "I can't believe you Katrina victems are still singing the blues. It's been over 3 years. If you haven't done something with your life by now then you probably never will. Honestly, I wish you'd get the hell out of my town. You bums have done nothing but create problems!"

    Hard Working American:

    The only Bums in this scenario are the people who were in power the day the WORST natural disaster in US HISTORY struck. Had your President and your Republican Senator now running for President thought more about the citizens of New Orleans and rescue efforts and less about photo-ops, there wouldn't be a need for self-righteous comments such as yours due to the fact that there probably would have been a decent plan in place to help those same people who are still struggling.

    God forbid you find yourself in the same situation one day. You never know.

    October 31, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. Hard Working American for Obama

    FEMA and the Republicans failed the people of New Orleans with their mismanagement and utter lack of care for those displaced by the hurricane. For someone to suggest that after three years, citizens of New Orleans who are still displaced because of the lack of government will and coordination in rebuilding the city, are lazy is just plain hateful. But it's more than just that: by the content and tone of the first post, it is clear that this vitriol stems from nothing more and nothing less than pure, unadulterated racism. And racism has no place in the United States. You ge the hell out of this country!

    October 31, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. JIM HAWK

    I love seeing slush mouth Rudy G. out with McCain...2 losers on one 1 stage..Rudy go back to New York and make your money off the
    911 victims you jerk !!!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. Sebastian, Baton Rouge, LA

    McCain makes me want to vomit.

    October 31, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  25. steve

    TO: Hard working American for McCain:

    You're a jerk!! If we had had a decent president at the time, maybe they wouldn't have the problems they have now. Now you want to put another sorry republican in the oval office so he can screw thios country up a little more.

    Shame on you!!

    October 31, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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