St. George organizers call mailer 'sketchy, desperate and illegal'
BATON ROUGE - Voter manipulation, or an easy way out?
That's the most current debate between organizers of the proposed city of St. George and Better Together, a group of citizens against the breakaway.
The heated controversy is boiling over because of a mailer that was sent out to people who had signed the St. George petition in support of the proposed city.
The people who sent the flyer out say they were trying to give people, who already wanted to withdraw their name, an easy way to do so. The people hoping their dream of St. George soon becomes a reality say it was a sketchy, desperate and illegal move to try and stop their efforts.
"This has to stop, this form of deception and intimidation cannot go on," said St. George organizer Lionel Rainey. "It screams of deception, it screams of misinformation, it screams of voter intimidation, it screams of interfering with the democratic process."
The message inside the leaflet reads, "We signed the St. George petition. But when we saw what St. George would do to our tax bill and to our schools, we withdrew our signatures. We're writing to ask you to do the same."
"What we wrote in it was from reports we understood from the CPA 'Faulk & Winkler LLC,'" said Dianne Hanley, Better Together. "Once [voters] found out this information they wanted to get out, they wanted to withdraw their name."
Those interested in removing their names are instructed to mail the leaflet to a P.O. Box for Better Together that will be dropped off at the Registrar of Voters Office.
The Registrar of Voters is currently certifying the names on the St. George petition and said any one who returns the pamphlet will have their name removed, adding that the pamphlet is a legitimate request to have names removed since the leaflet includes all required information.
Rainey raised questions about legality and said he's going to the Secretary of State regarding the matter.
Attorneys we spoke with say the mailer is legal because the item is not currently on the ballot.