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Monday, December 12, 2005
Blanco Postpones New Orleans Elections
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:59 pm

Via the AP: La. Governor Postpones New Orleans Vote

Gov. Kathleen Blanco has postponed the New Orleans mayoral election indefinitely, setting up a legal battle with voters who filed a lawsuit seeking to ensure the election is held as scheduled.


The order was released Monday but Blanco signed it Friday. It did not set a new date for the elections, saying only that they should be held “as soon as practicable.”

The postponement affects primaries for mayor, sheriff and city council seats, as well as runoffs in those races that had been set for March 4. Qualifying for candidates to get on the ballot had been set to begin Wednesday.

Given the situation, a postponement may make some sense-no US city has ever suffered a cataclysm to equal what happened to New Orleans. However, doing so indefinitely is highly problematic. At some point it has to be recognized that the city isn’t going to be what it was, and that a large number of people are never coming back.

As such, as long as it is physically possible to hold elections, then elections should be held. Otherwise, we will have a governor suspending democratic governance, with no end in sight, and that strikes me as a lousy precedent to set.

Filed under: US Politics, Hurricanes, 2006 Elections | |Send TrackBack


  1. no US city has ever suffered a cataclysm to equal what happened to New Orleans.

    What about the burning of Atlanta? Just thinking . . .

    Comment by Scott Gosnell — Monday, December 12, 2005 @ 3:13 pm

  2. My guess is that the percentage displacement of citizens was far greater in New Orleans.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Monday, December 12, 2005 @ 3:17 pm

  3. Yeah, maybe. In Atlanta, the displaced citizens were, well, dead.

    Comment by Scott Gosnell — Monday, December 12, 2005 @ 4:07 pm

  4. I doubt Atlanta had 460,000 people in the 1800’s. I also doubt that any city in American ever had 400,000 not back yet. However I agree that the elections should go on no matter what because it is possible for people not living or returning to choose the elected officials of New Orleans for those of us back home. I think the order is for officials self preservation not for the voters.

    Comment by JK Schwehm — Monday, December 12, 2005 @ 5:10 pm

  5. O.k., my original comment was pretty much tongue-in-cheek (gallows humor). The population in Atlanta in 1860 was approximately 9554, so in terms of sheer numbers there’s no comparison. However, in terms of destruction, percentage of the population killed and/or displaced, etc., it would be an interesting comparison.

    Nevertheless, I don’t remember ever reading that mayoral elections in Atlanta were indefinitedly suspended.

    Comment by Scott Gosnell — Tuesday, December 13, 2005 @ 7:40 am

  6. Come to think of it what more hostile place to conduct elections than in Iraq? If there can be elections in Iraq why not elections in New Orleans?

    Comment by JK Schwehm — Wednesday, December 14, 2005 @ 9:16 am

  7. Good point.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Wednesday, December 14, 2005 @ 9:18 am

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