No more changes to St. George petition after Monday night
BATON ROUGE - It's been a week since the St. George movement turned in their petition and the signatures are still coming in.
"Citizens want to have their name and have their voice heard, and they keep wanting to add their name to it whether there's a deadline or not," said St. George spokesperson Andrew Murrell.
Murrell says about 94 more people signed the petition to incorporate the city over the weekend, even though they are 1,500 signatures over their quota.
"Well anybody who wants a chance to have their name considered or wants an opportunity to vote should have that opportunity. We want to make sure everybody has a chance to do that," he said.
Monday was the deadline to add and withdraw names.
"We have been fielding phone calls and emails and text messages from concerned citizens wanting to make sure their names are appropriately withdrawn from the petition," said M.E. Cormier with Better Together.
As St. George's largest opposition, Better Together has obtained the nearly 6,000 pages of signatures and is independently vetting them. Over the weekend, the group sent a mass text message advertising the withdrawal process to voters in the St. George area.
"The best way possible for us to get out that information was to send a text message, use social media. So we're using every avenue possible to inform the electors of the opportunity to withdraw their name," said Cormier.
But not everyone appreciated the invasion of privacy.
"Hey I guess they do whatever they gotta do at this point," said Murrell. "If that's what they got to do, it's a shame. I know there's a lot of upset people who didn't like getting text messages from random people."
However, Better Together says they are pushing withdrawals so hard because of what it said happened the last time St. George tried to incorporate.
"Well, there were 64 names on the previous petition that did not match the registered voter files. Specifically, there were six people who came out publicly and said their names were clearly forged. So, we're concerned about that," said Cormier.