St. George petition fails by 71 signatures
BATON ROUGE - The petition to form the city of St. George failed by less than 100 signatures, and will not be brought to a vote.
The East Baton Rouge registrar of voters released Saturday that St. George needed 17,859 signatures. After the petition was resubmitted and counted, St. George fell 71 signatures short.
Had the petition passed, those living within the proposed city would have gotten to vote on whether to become St. George or stay unincorporated. The movement to form a completely new city started after failed attempts to form a break-away school district in East Baton Rouge.
The original petition had 18,353 signatures, but 4,012 of them were rejected or withdrawn. Organizers had 60 days to make up the difference, and came up with 4,627 more signatures. Of the new signatures, 1,180 were rejected or withdrawn.
St. George spokesman Lionel Rainey says, "We're currently in the process of reviewing the verification and tabulation process as well as preparing a legal challenge. We believe there were clear errors throughout the process and that the number of signatures obtained well exceeds the statutory number required. To say that this is over would be inaccurate."
The St. George petition has been circulating for nearly 2 years had has been the center of controversy. Some say Baton Rouge annexed property in an effort to kill the proposed city. Some against the new city passed out fliers with forms and directions on how to withdraw your name from the petition.
Because the petition didn't receive enough signatures, St. George supporters must now wait two years before starting another petition.