St. George organizers file lawsuit in effort to revive petition

St. George organizers file lawsuit in effort to revive petition

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A judge will decide whether some signatures on the St. George petition denied by the East Baton Rouge Registrar of Voters' Office will be reconsidered.

"We found a significant number of signatures that were erroneously rejected by the registrar, and when we pointed the error out to them, the registrar refused to do their job," St. George incorporation spokesman Lionel Rainey told the Baton Rouge Business Report. "We were left with no other option than to ask a judge to force them to fix their mistakes, which will result in the certification of their petition."

Petition organizers filed a lawsuit on Friday in regards to names that were rejected because they weren't registered to vote before October 20. It will be in the hands of Judge Wilson Fields in the 19th Judicial District Court.

A total of 17,859 signatures from voters within the proposed boundaries of the new city were needed to get the issue on a ballot. After much petitioning on both sides of the argument, the the effort to incorporate St. George fell short by 71 signatures.

Rainey said they are looking at "a significant number" of signatures will be revalidate with the lawsuit that would be "more than enough to certify the petition and have it sent to the governor."

Mary Olive Pierson, the attorney for the city in this matter, said the move "will definitely be challenged."

The hearing is set for Monday, July 6. If the judge rules against them, petition organizers will appeal the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal.

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