Registrar of voters wants 29 questions answered ahead of any St. George certification
BATON ROUGE – The East Baton Rouge Parish Registrar of Voters Office said Wednesday that it will not make any decision about the certification process of the St. George petition until it has been submitted and the state attorney general has cleared up some local confusion.
As WBRZ first reported last week, Registrar Steve Raborn isn't sure what the deadline for submitting the signed petitions will be.
Historically, incorporation petitions were mailed to the Louisiana Secretary of State. If a petition was filed properly, the secretary signed it and returned it by certified mail to the person heading the incorporation effort. When the secretary of state got the certified mail delivery receipt, the date the petitioner signed it established the timeline for gathering the signatures.
But organizers of St. George hand-delivered their latest petition. The hand-delivery leaves the registrar's office without a delivery receipt.
"Because that step was overlooked, we're trying to make sure we have all the information we need to properly calculate the deadline," Raborn said.
Raborn submitted some 29 questions to the Louisiana Attorney General. Read them here.
“I will be guided by the Attorney General’s opinions,” Raborn said in a news release outlining his questions Wednesday.
The scrutiny is on both sides since St. George has been skeptical of city-parish operations following annexation maneuvers and after the first attempt to create the new City of St. George in 2015 fell 71 signatures short of the 17,859 needed to put incorporation on a ballot.
Some St. George proponents were critical of the registrar's process. Raborn was not the registrar during the last incorporation push.
For the latest effort, St. George organizers believe the process is clear – the date the petition was hand-delivered in early-March.
"Our belief is that the signature deadline is nine months from March 2, 2018," spokesman for the incorporation effort, Andrew Murrell, told WBRZ previously.
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