The political effects of Hurricane Katrina

// Published February 8, 2006
Since last Friday, FairVote has been distributing a working paper diagnosing Hurricane Katrina's political effects. It concludes with a potential solution.

Using raw, parish-level numbers of evacuees, the report provides a rough forecast of the size, partisanship and racial composition of southern Louisiana's 'risky' Congressional districts.

Among the findings:

  • Districts of wildly disparate sizes violate the 'one person, one vote' norm on equality of constituent services;
  • Massive influx to the 6th district means caseworkers may be strained beyond their resources;
  • African Americans may have lost the strength to elect a candidate of choice in the 2nd district, making Louisiana liable under the Voting Rights Act;
  • Incumbents in the 3rd and 6th districts will face tough if not futile reelection campaigns.

The paper is joint effort of the Program for Representative Government and Voting and Democracy Research Center.

Download the paper in PDF at A one-page summary is available in the same place.