What would it take to recall a parish president?

Clancy DuBos breaks down what it would take to recall Mike Yenni by voters.

Eyewitness News political analyst Clancy DuBos says that if Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni does not resign, it would require a successful recall effort to remove him from office prior to the end of his term.

The parish has a little over 270,000 voters and one third of them would have to sign a recall petition. DuBos said that, considering some signatures would be thrown out for various reasons, a safe number would be 95,000 signatures.

“That’s a lot, but considering how people in Jefferson Parish feel right now, that would be doable.”

Once the petition was certified, an election would be set and 50 percent, plus one would be needed to have him recalled.

Jefferson Parish says on its web site that it follows the Louisiana State protocol on recalling a parish council member or parish president.

The Secretary of State web site lists the protocol for recalling an official as:

MORE: Yenni will not step down

MORE: Read Yenni's full statement

All signatures on recall petitions must be handwritten. The petition shall be signed by 33 and 1/3 of the qualified electors of the voting area wherein a recall election is petitioned, or 40 percent of the qualified electors within the voting area where fewer than 1,000 qualified electors reside in the voting area. Contact the Registrar of Voters Office for the total number of eligible voters of the voting area for all elected official recalls. Contact the secretary of state for the total number of eligible voters of the state for all statewide elected official recalls. (La. R.S. 18:1300.2(B)) 

The registrar of voters shall honor the written request of any voter who either desires to have their handwritten signature stricken from the petition or desires to have their handwritten signature added to the petition at any time after receipt of the signed petition as provided in La. R.S. 18:1300.2(C) but prior to certification of the petition or within five days after receipt of such signed petition, whichever is earlier. (La. R.S. 18:1300.3(B)(1)) 

The completed petition is submitted to the Registrar(s) of Voters Offices for certification no later than 180 days after being filed with Secretary of State's Office. An exception to this is if there are fewer than 1,000 qualified electors in the voting area, the petition must be submitted not later than 90 days after being filed with secretary of state's office. If the final day for submitting the petition falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the deadline will be on the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. (La. R.S. 18:1300.2(C)(2))

The registrar of voters certifies the recall petition within 15 working days after it is presented to them, or within 20 working days after it is presented to them if any parish wholly or partially within the voting area contains more than 50,000 registered voters. (La. R.S. 18:1300.3(A)) 

The petition is then forwarded to the governor. The governor issues an election proclamation within 15 days after they receive the certified petition from the Registrar of Voters Offices, if the required number of qualified electors of the voting area signed the recall petition. (La R.S. 18:1300.7(A))   

For a primary election date, the proclamation will be issued on or before the last day for candidates to qualify in the election (last day of qualifying). For a general election date, the proclamation will be issued on or before the 46th day prior to the election (same as propositions). In all cases where the governor is the subject of the recall petition, the secretary of state shall issue the proclamation and act in all matters where it is made the duty of the governor to act. If the Secretary of State's Office is the subject of the recall petition, the governor shall act instead of the secretary of state. (La. R.S. 18:1300.7) (La. R.S. 18:1300.15)

Immediately after the issuance of the proclamation, the governor publishes the proclamation in the official journal of each parish where the recall election is to be held. Within 24 hours after issuing the proclamation, the governor sends a copy of the petition and proclamation, by registered or certified mail, to the clerk of the district court for each parish in which the recall election will be held. A copy of the petition and proclamation will also be sent to the secretary of state. Within 24 hours after receiving the copies, the secretary of state's office notifies all other election officials in the parish(es) where the recall election is to be held. (La. R.S. 18:1300.7)

If the recall passes, the public officer is recalled and the office is vacated upon the expiration of the time period for contesting the recall election (4:30 p.m. on the ninth day after the date of the election) or if a contest is filed timely, upon the final judgment becoming definitive. The office will be filled as in the case of ordinary vacancies and according to the constitution and laws of the state. The recalled official cannot be appointed or be a candidate in the special election to fill the vacancy. In addition, if the recalled official is a member of a governing authority of a municipality governed by the Lawrason Act (Part I of Chapter 2 of Title 33 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes), they are cannot be a candidate to fill any vacancy for the governing authority prior to the next regulary scheduled election. (La. R.S. 18:1300.13) 

If the recall fails, no recall election for the same official shall be held within 18 months from the date of the failed recall election. (La. R.S. 18:1300.12)

If the officer subject to the recall election resigns prior to the first day of early voting and the recall election is the only issue on the ballot, early voting and the recall election is not held. If the recall election is not the only issue on the ballot and the early voting ballot has been prepared, the Registrar of Voters Office shall post a notice of the resignation at each early voting location where the recall is on the ballot. If the Election Day ballot has been printed, the clerk of court's office shall post notice of the resignation at each polling place where the recall is on the ballot. Any votes cast in the recall election shall be null and void and shall not be counted for any purpose whatsoever. (La. R.S. 18:1300.7(2)(a))

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