La. lawmaker expected to propose recall law change

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 5:26 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A Northshore lawmaker says the failed effort to recall New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is proof to him that it’s impossible to recall an elected official in a large parish in Louisiana.

Some New Orleans voters still can’t believe it.

“I was troubled with the second part of the process, where however many thousand votes got discarded - they were thrown out,” said voter Chip Doussan.

In fact, 99% of more than 32,400 signatures submitted during a five-day grace period following the recall deadline were rejected for a variety of issues, including problems with when they were dated.

“I think it was a bad fumble by the recall organizers,” said Dillard political analyst, Dr. Robert Collins.

Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Covington, says we have the toughest recall law in the country, requiring signatures from 20% of qualified voters, and he plans to try and change that.

“Not only are we the hardest state, but I think it’s impossible,” said Rep. Hollis.

He is proposing a new law that would lower the threshold needed to recall an elected official in Louisiana based on the number of people who voted in the election.

“The bill that I intend to file this week - it will be 20% not based on qualified voters. I want it to be like most states do it, and that number be applied to the people who actually voted,” Hollis explained.


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New Orleans mayor recall petition falls short by thousands of signatures

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Collins expects a flurry of recall activity in next month’s legislative session.

“I do expect in the legislature we will have several members Interested in revisiting the recall law,” said Collins.

Voters say that even though the recall effort failed, they hope it sends a message.

“I would hope that at the very least, even though it wasn’t successful, it would have people somewhat concerned that their jobs might be in jeopardy if they don’t do better,” said voter Ronald Johnson.

Collins says voters deserve to have a process that works transparently.

“When you close the process off to the public and the media, people assume the worst,” said Collins.

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