St. George organizers plan to report signature forgers to authorities
BATON ROUGE - Organizers of the St. George effort said Thursday night they will likely give the names of two signature collectors to law enforcement who they believe forged the names of three people on the petition backing the proposed City of St. George.
The people whose names were forged received mailers from anti-St. George organizers who obtained the names of people who signed the petition through a public records request. Upon receiving the mailers, which asked for people to remove their names from the petition, the people who believed their names were forged reported the problem to the leading group against the effort.
Lionel Rainey, who is a leader on the group proposing the new city, believes the names were removed from the petition during fact-checking by the Registrar of Voters office and were never going to be counted.
"The verification process worked," he said. "It's an isolated incident, and represents a minute number," Rainey added.
Rainey said the forged names were collected by two volunteers who were not close with the leadership of the St. George proposal. Rainey said the St. George group is exploring possible legal action against the two volunteers.
The registrar's office anticipates finalizing work on the petition next week. The office estimated around 17 percent of the signatures would be disqualified, and the petition needs 17,746 signatures in order to make it onto a future ballot. If the count falls short, organizers of the petition will have 60 days to come up with the rest.
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