Supporters, critics still awaiting St. George signature results
BATON ROUGE – More than one month after thousands of signatures were turned into the EBR Registrar of Voter’s Office, there’s been a halt in the process surrounding the controversial St. George Petition. Officials say none of the signatures have been looked over.
“We hoped it would begin as soon as we turned them in,” said Andrew Murrell, who is part of the City of St. George legal team.
The Registrar of Voters has to verify the signatures in order to put the petition up to a vote. Officials told WBRZ they were hoping to start that process by now, but with an upcoming December election, they haven't gotten to it.
However, those against the movement have.
“We've already done a preliminary check, so this is the secondary check,” said M.E. Cormier, the Executive Director of ‘Better Together.’ “We think the second look is really important to the process.”
Cormier is currently independently vetting the signatures. She did the same thing when the petition was first brought up in 2015. That time, the petition was shy of just 71 signatures.
“I think it’s going to be as close as it was last time,” said Cormier.
Cormier says history could repeat itself.
“We're finding a lot of invalid signatures for various reasons. They weren't eligible to sign, they didn't live in the area and several duplicate signatures,” she said.
But those who collected the signatures disagree.
“Multiple people would review these signatures every time someone signed it,” said Murrell. “There’s no way that these signatures are not valid and we don't have enough.”
There is no deadline for the Registrar of Voters Office to check all of the signatures. Officials say they will start as soon as possible. Around 13,000 valid signatures are needed. St. George supporters say they turned in 1,500 more than that.