Few Signatures Invalid

Few Signatures Invalid

East Baton Rouge Parish Registrar of Voters Elaine Lamb and her staff have been examining the authenticity of more than 18,200 signatures on a petition calling for an election to incorporate the proposed City of St. George.

So far, the petition is holding up well, Lamb said.  “All of our staff are working on this, and we’re getting faster at it.”

The petition was filed back in October, but the registrar had to set the matter aside until after the Dec. 6, 2014, election.

Now the process of examining each name and each signature is consuming her office.

“We have a computer program for this, and as we review a name, we either accept or reject it.  But so far, we have not found many rejections,” Mrs. Lamb said.

“It’s looking pretty good so far.  We check the name and the signature.  We have access to scanned signatures of voters from past elections.  So we are working with up-to-date information.”

“We’re being very careful. If one person in the office has a problem with a name, it is rejected.  But we will return later and review those.  We don’t want to throw out anything that is valid.”

“But we’re just not finding a lot of problems,” she said.

If the registrar certifies that at least 25 percent of the registered voters in the proposed city have signed the petition, she will transmit it to the governor, and the governor has the authority to call the election.  That election could happen as soon as May 2.

If the registrar finds that fewer than 25 percent have signed the petition, she will notify the incorporators, and they will have 60 days to submit enough new signatures to reach the 25 percent level.

Mrs. Lamb was unable to provide an estimate of when her work will be complete.

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