EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Almost one-fourth of registered voters in the new proposed City of St. George have already voted, new state records show.
There are 54,785 registered voters within the proposed city limits. As of Wednesday, Oct. 9, 12,565 voters, or 23%, had either taken part in early voting or cast ballots by mail, according to Tyler Brey, spokesman for the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office.
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Across all of East Baton Rouge Parish, 18% of registered voters have cast early ballots. Only those within the proposed new city are allowed to vote on the issue though. If approved, St. George would become the fifth city in East Baton Rouge Parish, with a population of about 86,000.
The effort first began mainly as a way for people in that southeastern part of the parish to create their own school system. However, the incorporation of St. George must first be approved before efforts to create new schools can begin. Brey pointed out it’s possible some of the 12,565 people who have already cast ballots did not choose to vote on the St. George issue since voters are not required to vote on every item on the ballot.
Proponents of St. George failed on their first attempt to get the issue before voters. After that, they carved out new lines, taking out much of the black population. Of the current eligible voters in the proposed St. George district, 81% are white, according to the latest figures from the state.