Displaced Louisiana Voters

Local lawyers and civil advocates are helping displaced Louisiana residents prepare to vote in their home state's upcoming municipal elections. Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson reports.

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James Silas III is in the office of the Houston Area Urban League, filling out his paperwork to vote by absentee ballot. Silas says he votes in every election, whether major or minor and he's voting here from Houston for several reasons.

"First of all for the future of my city that's -- that have went through this catastrophe and also to make sure the right candidate get back in office and my city will have a bright future. And also to remind those politicians who told us on the news and made it very clear that they don't want some of us back, I wanted them to know that we are here and we are voting."

There's a lot of paperwork that Katrina evacuees need to fill out in order to vote from outside the state. Houston Black Lawyers Association President James G. Pierre says lawyers and law students are volunteering for the next four weeks to help evacuees navigate the various forms and requirements for voting.

"We look over it. Some of those questions concerning their residency, use of their Louisiana drivers license, making sure they filled everything out, making sure that their witnesses are here and that they actually send it off."

The Houston Area Urban League is also hosting one of four Voter Empowerment Centers nationwide. This Saturday, Louisiana candidates will be in town to answer questions about their campaign platforms. The Louisiana municipal elections are scheduled for April 22nd and May 20th. Laurie Johnson Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...