Vote Suppression: LA Sec. of State Refused to Provide Generators to Polling Sites

With the City of New Orleans still struggling to recover from a direct hit from Hurricane Zeta, as many as 11 polling locations are expected to remain without power on Tuesday. However, in spite of their responsibility to ensure that all citizens are able to vote, Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin and Commissioner of Elections Sherri Wharton Hadskey are refusing to provide power generators, threatening to disenfranchise thousands of Orleans Parish residents.

“The Louisiana Secretary of State has an urgent responsibility to ensure that every voter has the opportunity to make their voice heard this Tuesday,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “We continue to confront every crisis 2020 has thrown our way, from the global pandemic to a relentless hurricane season, and to absorb the tremendous financial costs that have come with them. But for the Secretary of State to add to that burden now, and to threaten the votes of our people at such a critical time, is absolutely unacceptable.”

Ardoin’s office has stated that New Orleans City employees and City resources must be used to pay for, transport, install and maintain any generators used to keep New Olreans polling locations powered and open.

“We in the City of New Orleans have proven to and will continue to confront and counteract voter suppression,” said City Council Vice President Helena Moreno. “We will always protect our people’s constitutional right to vote. In the wake of a major hurricane, the Secretary’s callous disregard for his basic duties threatens the voting rights of New Orleanians. His inaction is despicable and unacceptable. Make no mistake, we will make all efforts to ensure all can vote.”

Hurricane Zeta is believed to be the strongest storm to ever make a direct pass over the city of New Orleans. Although originally categorized as a strong Category 2 storm by the National Hurricane Center, further review at the federal level may result in the storm being ultimately categorized as a Category 3.

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