FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–October 17, 2020
Voters Overcome Long Lines in West Jefferson Parish
Concerns about polling locations not being able to handle a rush of voters were unfortunately borne out on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish, as voters have been forced to wait in line for hours to vote at the Charles Odom Building in Marrero.
NEW ORLEANS, LA | October 17, 2020—With early voting underway, we’re seeing long lines to vote at polling locations across the state. But it seems to be especially problematic on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish, where voters have had to wait in line for hours on both of the first two days of early voting.
Voters who’ve gone to the Charles Odom Building, at 5001 West Bank Expressway, have had to wait in line for up to six hours to cast their ballots. It’s worth noting that the West Bank is one of the most diverse areas in Louisiana, and wait times at polling locations in other, less diverse parts of Jefferson Parish haven’t seen the same issues. There was also a relatively heavy police presence at the location.
This election was always expected to draw high turnout, and the steady increase in the use of early voting in Louisiana over the past decade should have indicated to election officials that they needed to be prepared for scenarios like this. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that proper preparations were made.
The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice and our partners at Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law will continue to monitor polls across Louisiana to make sure these types of issues are tracked so we can ensure everyone gets to exercise their franchise.
If you experience any problems voting, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE, or contact the Power Coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 504-766-9289.
The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice works to build voice and power in traditionally ignored communities. We are a coalition of groups from across Louisiana whose mission is to organize in impacted communities, educate and turn out voters, and fight for policies that create a more equitable and just system in Louisiana.
Who: Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), NAACP LDF
What: Long lines to vote in West Jefferson Parish, as Power Coalition for Equity and Justice and our partners monitor early voting issues across Louisiana.
When: October 17, 2020
Ashley Shelton, Executive Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, (225) 802-2435, email@example.com
Peter Robins-Brown, Communications Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, (504) 256-8196, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover photo by LEIGH D’ANGELO for New Orleans Public Radio