|U.S. Department of Justice |
Civil Rights Division
|Office of the Assistant Attorney General||Washington, DC 20530|
| ||September 7, 2005|
The Honorable Al Ater
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9125
Dear Mr. Ater:
I can only imagine the host of burdens facing you and other Louisiana officials. I write to express my sympathy and also to ease your burdens in at least one respect. Specifically, I am aware that the State of Louisiana has an open primary election scheduled for October 15, 2005. No doubt the devastation and disruption caused by Hurricane Katrina will necessitate the postponement and rescheduling of that election. Please be assured that the Civil Rights Division stands ready to expedite the review of any and all submissions of voting changes (especially scheduling and polling place changes) resulting from Hurricane Katrina which the State and/or its subdivisions submit to our Voting Section for review under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
The Civil Rights Division is committed to working with you and other State and local officials in the affected areas in order to help ease the added burdens caused by this disaster. Our Voting Section staff is available to assist in any way that they can. The Voting Section's toll-free telephone number is 800-253-3931. The Section 5 team leader and point of contact for Louisiana submissions is Ms. Teresa G. Lynn, and she can be reached directly at 202-307-1324.
Our thoughts are with you and the people of Louisiana during this difficult period.Sincerely, /s/
Bradley J. Schlozman
Acting Assistant Attorney General
cc: Kathleen B. Blanco
Governor, State of Louisiana