Voting Starts in New Orleans

Early voting for the mayoral election in New Orleans begins today in the registrar of voters’office and at satellite locations in other parishes across Louisiana including St. Tammany, Jefferson, East Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Terrebonne parishes

There are 22 mayoral candidates in this year’s primary, but The New Orleans Times Picayune reported that politcal experts give three of the 22 candidates, a good chance of making the May 20 runoff. The list of candidates varies significantly and includes students, a radio announcer, civil rights activists, as well as people who have held elected office positions.

On Election Day, April 22, satellite locations will not be open. For both early and Election Day voting, residents are required to present their voter registration card or another form of official identification.

Voters who registered to vote by mail between Oct. 5, 2004 and Sept. 25, 2005 can vote in person at a satellite polling place today. Those who registered by mail before or after those dates, but have never voted in person, must vote in person in New Orleans on Election Day.

Due to flood damage, say NOLA.com, many polling places for the April 22 election have been moved or consolidated. But the city has posted official change listings online.

First-time voters who registered by mail between Oct. 5, 2004, and Sept. 25, 2005, and who wish to vote by absentee ballot must submit an affidavit attesting that were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. First time voters, who registered by mail before Oct. 5, 2004 or after Sept. 25, 2005 must cast their votes in New Orleans on April 22.

According to USATODAY.com, civil right activists like Jesse Jackson and the NAACP have tried to stop early voting because they feel that people did not have enough time to return home. The issue has become racial because most of the evacuees are Black.