Electoral & Legislative Education
“Changing the narrative begins with your Voice, changing
the political landscape begins with Civic Action.”
Electoral engagement can be a taxing process if one is not prepared. Having a plan to engage your community leaders before they enter office is key to ensuring a healthy and equitable relationship or at a minimum you better understand who you are dealing with and for how long.
Dedicating a few hours to research and adopting ideas or plans can provide for a more organized and beneficial approach. Whether you are an individual, member of a civic or community based organization leveraging the Civic Action Methodology will enhance your voting experience and inspire others to engage.
Emergency Elections Plan (EEP)
“What About the 59rs?”
On the eve of the first day of early voting in New Orleans I noticed a local news feature on WVUE that stated, “400+ coronavirus cases reported for 3rd day in a row from the Louisiana State Department of health.” I ventured out on Saturday to provide safety support to voters by distributing masks and hand sanitizer, but it seemed eerily void. Early voting sites at City Hall and the Algiers courthouse were virtually empty. Are voters feeling a bit antsy about standing in potentially long lines to vote during this pandemic? I would be.
Community stakeholders age 55-65 who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 do not qualify for absentee voting under the Secretary of States Emergency Elections plan and must provide an excuse and seek a witness to sign. Based on GIS data provided by Caliper, many polling locations in Orleans Parish are located in Hard to Count Census areas and those very same zones have a high population count of ’at-risk’ residents.
On Monday June 22, 2020, U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick in a decision days before I was scheduled to testify alongside other plaintiffs in Louisiana, dismissed the consolidated lawsuits (with prejudice) upholding the emergency election plan. The judge is quoted as saying, “The court rejects plaintiffs' contention that they are being ‘forced to choose’ between their health and voting.”
I respectfully disagree.
Louisiana’s Emergency Elections Plan (EEP) states, “The emergency conditions created by COVID-19, as well as the efforts necessary to contain its spread, will affect all 2,988,813 of Louisiana’s registered voters as well as the 3,934 precincts located at 2,058 polling places across the State.” COVID-19, a pandemic so deadly Governor Edwards rescheduled spring elections and supported chief voting official Kyle Ardoin’s initial proposed plan to allow absentee voting for all eligible residents who feared getting infected by the virus or passing it on.
Indeed, legislative leaders in Louisiana agreed to temporarily suspend their lawmaking session months ago due to COVID-19. Sen. Karen Carter Peterson tweeted that “it was irresponsible for the session to continue.” They later resumed and completed the Legislative session with many representatives choosing to not attend...(Read More)