Black legislative politics: Examining the issue of voting rights in the post-Hurricane Katrina period

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Following Hurricane Katrina, a significant number of black voters were displaced from the New Orleans metropolitan area. With the 2006 New Orleans municipal elections forthcoming, especially the mayoral election, a significant portion of displaced black voters were faced with being disenfranchised, which was a violation of their civil rights and posed a threat to black political leadership in the city. This article examines whether black legislators provided substantive representation to these voters during the post-Hurricane Katrina period. That is, did black legislators advocate a legislative agenda to facilitate access to the ballot for displaced black New Orleans voters? Using a multi-methodological approach, evidence is presented indicating that black legislators did provide substantive representation to black voters by introducing key voting rights bills and voting in a way that was responsive to black concerns which facilitated access to the ballot. © 2012 Western Social Science Association.

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