It is hard to vote when you're displaced by a hurricane

October 16th, 2008

National Public Radio reports on what it’s like to try to vote after a natural disaster.

A number of candidates endorsed by the League are in districts impacted by the devastation of Hurricane Ike. Senate candidate Joe Jaworski, whom we’ve endorsed, lost his home in the storm (as did his opponent, Senator Mike Jackson, whom we oppose). Sherrie Matula’s campaign, in district which includes Clearlake, has had to focus on relief efforts and hasn’t had much of a district to campaign in. In the wake of a disaster like Ike, voting may be the last thing on people’s minds.

But it shouldn’t be. Decisions made by candidates elected this election will affect how well Texas recovers from Ike, and how well Texas will be prepared for future disasters. Decisions about climate change, which is happening and which makes hurricanes bigger and worse, will be made in the Texas legislature.

Texans statewide should support efforts to get out the vote in hurricane areas. And Texans from the Gulf Coast have more things to worry about on top of all the destruction – who’s going to represent you in Austin, and what are they going to do for our state’s future?

Texans not affected by Ike should be inspired by voters from the Gulf Coast. They will find their way to the polls on Election Day, or early vote, or absentee vote. On top of rebuilding their homes and businesses, they will cast a ballot to rebuild our state for the better. If those voters will make the effort at this difficult time, every Texan should.